By People Staff
November 05, 2001 12:00 PM

By Judith Miller, Stephen Engelberg and William Broad

Suddenly, bioterrorism seems a danger worth taking seriously. This sober account of Washington, D.C.’s haphazard effort to find a lasting antidote to the threat is no balm for jumpy nerves. Beginning with a successful campaign by an Oregon cult to spread food poisoning in 1984, a team of journalists from The New York Times—including Miller, who endured her own well-publicized germ scare—details threats cooked up in labs from Iraq to the former Soviet Union. Fortunately, the authors note, the moral taboo against mass murder has largely spared innocents, but only a reenergized U.S. investment in public health, they argue, will keep us safe from superbugs. (Simon & Schuster, $27)

Bottom Line: Thoroughly chilling