Penicillin: Triumph and Tragedy

Paperback | February 15, 2009

byRobert Bud

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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. Acrossthe 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 examinesthe drug's critical contributions to medicine and agriculture, and he investigates the global spread of resistant bacteria as antibiotic use continues to rise. Clearly written and highly topical, his book will be of great interest to historians, scientists, and anyone wishing to understandpenicillin's seismic impact on modern life.

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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. Acrossthe world, we are warned that widespread ant...

Robert Bud is Head of Information and Research at the Science Museum, London.

other books by Robert Bud

Format:PaperbackDimensions:340 pagesPublished:February 15, 2009Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199541612

ISBN - 13:9780199541614

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. Illness, drugs and wonder drugs before penicillin2. Penicillin from organised science3. Creating the brand in the era of propaganda4. Making penicillin across the world5. The carefree culture and the third industrial revolution6. Fighting resistance with technology7. Doctors, patients and the brand8. Animals, resistance and committees9. In face of catastropheConclusion

Editorial Reviews

`'Bud's volume offers much food for thought.'' - The Lancet