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Penicillin: Triumph and Tragedy

By: Robert Bud
340 pages, 29 halftones
Penicillin: Triumph and Tragedy
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  • Penicillin: Triumph and Tragedy ISBN: 9780199541614 Paperback Jan 2009 Usually dispatched within 5 days
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About this book Contents Customer reviews Related titles

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.


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

Customer Reviews

By: Robert Bud
340 pages, 29 halftones
Media reviews
...of interest to historians, scientists and anyone wishing to understand penicillin's impact on modern life. CABI
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