A shocking exposé of America’s secret mission to combat malaria during World War II with a campaign that tested experimental drugs on men gone mad from syphilis.
Foreseeing the need for a malaria drug, American war planners re-created Germany’s research model, then grew it tenfold. Spearheading the effort, Dr. Lowell T. Coggeshall recruited private corporations as well as chemists from Harvard and Johns Hopkins to make novel compounds, which were then tested on human subjects.
By 1943, a dozen strains of malaria were injected into mental health patients and convicted criminals - including the infamous murderer Nathan Leopold. After hundreds of trials and many deaths, the “magic bullet” was found not in a U.S. lab, but captured from the Nazis in battle. Still used today, chloroquine went on to save more lives than any other drug in history.
Journalist turned malaria researcher Karen M. Masterson uncovers the story behind this dark tale of wartime science seeking treatments for disease while ignoring the human condition.