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Penicillin: Triumph and Tragedy

By: Robert Bud

340 pages, 29 halftones

Oxford University Press

Paperback | Jan 2009 | #179113 | ISBN-13: 9780199541614
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £22.99 $28/€26 approx

About this book

Penicillin is the drug of the twentieth century. It was the first of the antibiotics that, for decades after the Second World War, underpinned a popular belief that infectious disease had at last met its match. With the emergence of 'superbugs' in recent decades these hopes have faded. Across the world, we are warned that widespread antibiotic abuse will inexorably erode the drugs' efficacy and our own earlier confidence in them. Penicillin pulls these different but conjoined stories into a compelling narrative spanning the second half of the twentieth century. Using a wealth of new research, Robert Bud sets the discovery and use of penicillin in the broader context of social and cultural change across the world. He examines the drug's critical contributions to medicine and agriculture, and he investigates the global spread of resistant bacteria as antibiotic use continues to rise.

...of interest to historians, scientists and anyone wishing to understand penicillin's impact on modern life. CABI


Introduction; 1. Illness, drugs and wonder drugs before penicillin; 2. Penicillin from organised science; 3. Creating the brand in the era of propaganda; 4. Making penicillin across the world; 5. The carefree culture and the third industrial revolution; 6. Fighting resistance with technology; 7. Doctors, patients and the brand; 8. Animals, resistance and committees; 9. In face of catastrophe; Conclusion

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