The Great Secret by Jennet Conant audiobook

The Great Secret: The Classified World War II Disaster that Launched the War on Cancer

By Jennet Conant
Read by John Kroft

Recorded Books, Inc. 9781324002505

Unabridged

Format : Library CD (In Stock)
  • ISBN: 9781664495579

  • ISBN: 9781705012871

Runtime: 11.86 Hours
Category: Nonfiction/History
Audience: Adult
Language: English

Summary

Summary

A New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice of the Week


The gripping story of a chemical weapons catastrophe, the cover-up, and how one American Army doctor’s discovery led to the development of the first drug to combat cancer, known today as chemotherapy.

On the night of December 2, 1943, the Luftwaffe bombed a critical Allied port in Bari, Italy, sinking seventeen ships and killing over a thousand servicemen and hundreds of civilians. Caught in the surprise air raid was the John Harvey, an American Liberty ship carrying a top-secret cargo of 2,000 mustard bombs to be used in retaliation if the Germans resorted to gas warfare.

When one young sailor after another began suddenly dying of mysterious symptoms, Lieutenant Colonel Stewart Alexander, a doctor and chemical weapons expert, was dispatched to investigate. He quickly diagnosed mustard gas exposure, but was overruled by British officials determined to cover up the presence of poison gas in the devastating naval disaster, which the press dubbed “little Pearl Harbor.” Prime Minister Winston Churchill and General Dwight D. Eisenhower acted in concert to suppress the truth, insisting the censorship was necessitated by military security.

Alexander defied British port officials and heroically persevered in his investigation. His final report on the Bari casualties was immediately classified, but not before his breakthrough observations about the toxic effects of mustard on white blood cells caught the attention of Colonel Cornelius P. Rhoads—a pioneering physician and research scientist as brilliant as he was arrogant and self-destructive—who recognized that the poison was both a killer and a cure, and ushered in a new era of cancer research led by the Sloan Kettering Institute. Meanwhile, the Bari incident remained cloaked in military secrecy, resulting in lost records, misinformation, and considerable confusion about how a deadly chemical weapon came to be tamed for medical use.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“Well-researched and engrossing…Conant documents the many twists and turns of this little-known story with verve and precision. WWII aficionados and medical history fans will be fascinated.” Publishers Weekly
“A history that reads like a novel.” New York Times Book Review
“Conant has uncovered a humdinger of a tale, one that is equal parts war story, conspiracy thriller, and medical mystery. More than anything, The Great Secret shows how the dogged efforts of a handful of scientists were able to turn a wartime tragedy and coverup into one of society’s greatest gifts.” James M. Scott, Pulitzer Prize finalist and author of Target Tokyo and Rampage

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Jennet Conant

Author Bio: Jennet Conant

Jennet Conant is the author of the New York Times bestsellers The Irregulars: Roald Dahl and the British Spy Ring in Wartime Washington and Tuxedo Park: A Wall Street Tycoon and the Secret Palace of Science That Changed the Course of World War II. A former journalist, she has written for Vanity Fair, Esquire, GQ, Newsweek, and the New York Times. She lives in New York City and Sag Harbor, New York.

Titles by Author

Details

Details

Available Formats : Library CD, MP3 CD
Category: Nonfiction/History
Runtime: 11.86
Audience: Adult
Language: English