Ten Drugs: How Plants, Powders, and Pills Have Shaped the History of Medicine (Paperback)

Ten Drugs: How Plants, Powders, and Pills Have Shaped the History of Medicine By Thomas Hager Cover Image
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(Medical Narratives)


Behind every landmark drug is a story. It could be an oddball researcher’s genius insight, a catalyzing moment in geopolitical history, a new breakthrough technology, or an unexpected but welcome side effect discovered during clinical trials. Piece together these stories, as Thomas Hager does in this remarkable, century-spanning history, and you can trace the evolution of our culture and the practice of medicine. 

​Beginning with opium, the “joy plant,” which has been used for 10,000 years, Hager tells a captivating story of medicine. His subjects include the largely forgotten female pioneer who introduced smallpox inoculation to Britain, the infamous knockout drops, the first antibiotic, which saved countless lives, the first antipsychotic, which helped empty public mental hospitals, Viagra, statins, and the new frontier of monoclonal antibodies. This is a deep, wide-ranging, and wildly entertaining book.

About the Author

Thomas Hager is an award-winning author of books on the history of science and medicine, including The Alchemy of Air and Ten Drugs: How Plants, Powders and Pills Have Shaped the History of Medicine. He is a courtesy associate professor of journalism and communication at the University of Oregon.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781419735226
ISBN-10: 1419735225
Publisher: Abrams Press
Publication Date: April 7th, 2020
Pages: 304
Language: English