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Moselio Schaechter

You may be interested to know that I have a two copies of a first edition of Microbe Hunters that I obtained for one dollar each at a book fair some years ago. I found tucked inside one of these volumes a book review from the Chicago Tribune dated February 26, 1926 (and now so brittle I hardly dare touch it) and also a cut out letter published in Correspondence of some “Journal" (I'll bet the JAMA) under the heading “Microbe Hunters”—a Denial’ and signed by Aldo Castellani, George C Low, David Nabarrow and Ronald Ross. Robin Henig refers to this denial in her article.

I also have a copy of the 7th printing in August 1925 of the First Edition of "Arrowsmith." This printing includes a full page with the dedication:

“ To Dr. Paul H. DeKruif I am indebted not only for most of the bacteriological and medical material in this tale but equally for his help in the planning of the fable itself—for his realization of the characters as living people, for his philosophy as a scientist. With this acknowledgment I want to record our months of companionship while working on the book, in the United States, in the West Indies, in Panama, in London and Fontainebleau. I wish I could reproduce our talks along the way, and the laboratory afternoons, the restaurants at night, and the deck at dawn as we steamed into tropic ports. SINCLAIR LEWIS”

I have no idea whether this is a result of, or antedates, the argument Henig recounts.

We seem to have shared many of the same experiences. The opening of the memoir I published in DNA Repair 11(2012) 3-11 starts “My scientific career started when I read Paul DeKruif's ”Microbe Hunters” at a branch of the New York Public Library………”

Incidentally, I think this volume and the clippings (if they can be preserved) may have some value/interest to microbiologists and I would be happy to donate them to a good home. My own offspring are not much interested. I tried to persuade my oldest son to read the book but since I suggested it he adamantly refused. (Years later my daughter confessed that he had read it, secretly!)

Bernard Strauss

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