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Richard Preston (1) (1954–)

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Richard Preston graduated summa cum laude from Pomona College in California and received a Ph.D. in English from Princeton University. He began his career as a journalist writing for the New York Times, Washington Post, National Geographic Traveler and Blair & Ketchum's Country Journal. He has also visa mer been a contributor to The New Yorker since 1985. One of Preston's earlier novels, "First Light," was a book on astronomy that won him the American Institute of Physics Award, and he has an asteroid the size of Mount Everest named after him. He also wrote "The Hot Zone," which is a true story about an outbreak of the Ebola virus near Washington, D.C. and inspired the movie Outbreak that starred Dustin Hoffman. "The Cobra Event" is a thriller about biological weapons and terrorism. He spent three years researching biological weapons and his sources included high-ranking government officials, and the scientists who invented and tested these weapons. The story tells of a medical doctor who works with the FBI to stop an act of bio-terrorism in New York City. Preston is now considered an expert in the areas of disease and biotechnology; and the FBI and President Clinton, in regards to disease and bio-warfare, have sought out his opinion. Preston has won several awards that include the McDermott Award in the Arts from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the Overseas Press Club of America's Whitman Basso Award for the best reporting in any medium on environmental issues for "The Hot Zone." His title Micro with Michael Crichton made the New York Times Best Seller list for 2011. (Bowker Author Biography) visa färre

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Vedertaget namn
Preston, Richard
Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
New York, New York, USA
Hopewell, New Jersey, USA
Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Wellesley High School (1972)
Pomona College (BA|1977)
Princeton University (Ph.D|1983)
Preston, Douglas (brother)
Preston, David M.D (brother)
Preston, Michelle Parham (wife)
The New Yorker
Kort biografi
Richard Preston may be the only literary journalist who has had an asteroid named after him. Discovered by Carolyn and Eugene Shoemaker—the astronomers who were the subject of First Light (1987)—Asteroid Preston measures between three and five miles across. In a scenario that could come from one of his own books, Asteroid Preston will likely collide with Mars or the Earth during the next hundred thousand years.
Preston has developed a genre of literary journalism that lends scientific subjects—virology, astronomy, gene theory—the drama and excitement more often associated with great travel or adventure writing. His characters are pioneers, extending the boundaries of knowledge in much the way that the early American explorers did.
Preston was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on August 5, 1954. A mediocre high school student, he was rejected by every college to which he applied. He desperately wanted to attend Pomona College in California and badgered the dean into accepting him in time for the second semester.
In 1977, Preston was graduated summa cum laude with a degree in English and continued on to Princeton for graduate school. In 1979, he took John McPhee's "Literature of Fact" writing course—a famous incubator for literary journalists. "McPhee taught us precision in shaping words and sentences. He taught us absolute respect for facts."
In 1985, he received an advance from Atlantic Monthly Press to write about the astronomers at Caltech's seven-story-tall Hale telescope. First Light was praised for covering a difficult technical subject without either distorting or oversimpifying the facts and won the 1988 American Institute of Physics Science Writing Award.
American Steel (1991) tells the story of the Nucor Corporation's search for a new way to pour sheet steel, and the building of a new steel mill in the middle of a cornfield outside Crawfordsville, Indiana. "In the best tradition of John McPhee and Tracy Kidder, Preston captures the feel of the project through direct observation of people at work," writes Mark Reutter in The Washington Post.
In the early 1990s, Preston feared that AIDS was only the tip of the iceberg—that other deadly viruses would soon begin emerging from once-remote forests around the world. He learned of an outbreak of Ebola among monkeys in Reston, Virginia and reconstructed the events, tracking the virus from a cave in Uganda to Virginia. His expanded his New Yorker article, "Crisis In the Hot Zone," into The Hot Zone, which became an international bestseller. Stephen King called it "one of the most horrifying things I've ever read in my life."
Preston continued his exploration in two further volumes of what he calls his "dark biology" series. The first was a novel, The Cobra Event (1997). The third, The Demon in the Freezer (2002), about smallpox and other deadly viruses, was developed from a New Yorker article of the same title, which won the 2000 National Magazine Award for public interest writing.
Most recently, Preston learned little-known tree-climbing techniques in order to write about a botanist who studies the ecology of the California Redwood forest canopy, thirty-five stories above ground.



2002 non-fiction about biological weapon agents smallpox and anthrax, and the American governmental defensive measures toward them. The book is mostly an account of the Smallpox Eradication Program, a discussion about smallpox’s status as a potential bioterrorism agent, and the controversy about the remaining samples. Demon in the Freezer is very much a product of its time, having been published in 2002, just after the anthrax attacks. I really thought this book was going to be about anthrax. In fact, the first few chapters and last couple chapters were about the post-9/11 anthrax attacks. But what this book was actually about was small pox. Having been born in the eighties, I never knew just how terrifying smallpox really could be -- I mean, it’s one of the most virulent diseases on the planet, so lots of people got it, right? Holy crap, smallpox make ebola look like small potatoes. Consider me educated.
… (mer)
lyrrael | 43 andra recensioner | Aug 3, 2023 |
Preston's history about the ebola virus reads like science fiction, and that makes it frightening. Very accessible, very interesting, very gripping, very timely with the current news. I enjoyed it a lot.
lyrrael | 116 andra recensioner | Aug 3, 2023 |
The author starts by looking at the lives of three people in the 1980s. In 1987, Steve was a university student when he climbed his first really tall tree (can’t recall if it was a redwood in California or a Douglas fir in Oregon); also 1987, Michael was a rich kid in college, but not really interested in attending classes… he also discovered the really tall trees; and Marie (early 80s) in Ontario, who lost her mother at a young age and enjoyed rock climbing. Eventually, the three would cross paths as they (formally or informally) studied the tallest trees in the world, mostly those California redwoods and Oregon Douglas firs.

I really liked this. It’s a mix of biographies of each of the main people, as well as information about the trees and forests and – until the late 80s – no one had been up to the tallest reaches of these trees. There are ecosystems that live high up in the trees, and it’s tricky to know how to safely (as much as possible, anyway) climb the trees. It was interesting that the author himself did learn to do it and joined the scientists on their adventures in the trees. He even went climbing with his kids. I really liked this – all parts of the book: I like biographies, and I like (popular) science, so I enjoyed all of it.
… (mer)
LibraryCin | 55 andra recensioner | Jul 23, 2023 |
Terrifying. What an unbelievably killer virus. The part about one particle a virus is enough to kill you really stuck with me. Really admire the people attempting to eradicate and solve this mystery. Will have to look for an updated Paula book to see how we’re doing on the vaccine. Quite the page turner though.
bermandog | 12 andra recensioner | May 14, 2023 |



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