Aspirin: The Remarkable Story of a Wonder Drug [NOOK Book]

Overview

Diarmuid Jeffreys traces the story of aspirin from the drug's origins in ancient Egypt, through its industrial development at the end of the nineteenth century and its key role in the great flu pandemic of 1918, to its subsequent exploitation by the pharmaceutical conglomerates and the marvelous powers still being discovered today.
Diarmuid Jeffreys is a British writer, journalist, and television producer who has made current affairs and documentary programs for BBC TV, Channel...
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Aspirin: The Remarkable Story of a Wonder Drug

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Overview

Diarmuid Jeffreys traces the story of aspirin from the drug's origins in ancient Egypt, through its industrial development at the end of the nineteenth century and its key role in the great flu pandemic of 1918, to its subsequent exploitation by the pharmaceutical conglomerates and the marvelous powers still being discovered today.
Diarmuid Jeffreys is a British writer, journalist, and television producer who has made current affairs and documentary programs for BBC TV, Channel 4, and others. He is also the author of The Bureau: Inside the Modern FBI. He lives with his wife and children in East Sussex.
A San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of 2004
"Jeffreys is an extremely clever and accessible writer, and his book is comprehensible while still being smart. If it is possible to get giddy over aspirin, Jeffreys manages it. This enthusiasm injects his well-researched prose with a verve and drama that makes for something of a medical history page-turner."-Oregonian
"A remarkable story...This is more than the story of aspirin: It is a history lesson."-San Diego Union-Tribune
"Diarmuid Jeffreys seamlessly manages his complicated subject...Throughout, Jeffreys renders an absorbing account of the drug's ride from obscurity to celebrity and around about again to its rebirth as today's wonder drug."-San Francisco Chronicle
"One of the most fascinating stories in the whole of medicine."-New Scientist Also available: HC 1-58234-386-1 ISBN 978-158234-386-0 $25.95
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Aspirin is a drug of apparently endless secrets. Research has continually uncovered new health benefits, from the first mention in ancient Egyptian scrolls of willow's medicinal uses to the more than 750 studies in the first half of 2004. It is now accepted as a tool in fighting heart disease and is showing potential for preventing or treating cancers, dementia, and a wide range of other conditions. Jeffreys (The Bureau: Inside the Modern FBI) traces aspirin's history by looking at the scientists, businessmen, and hucksters whose lives were entwined with the drug's rise, fall, and rise again, as well as the corporations and governments, most prominently Bayer and Nazi Germany, drawn into the story. The book covers much of the same ground as Charles C. Mann and Mark L. Plummer's The Aspirin Wars: Money, Medicine, and 100 Years of Rampant Competition but brings the story up to date. Recommended for medical, public, and academic libraries. Richard Maxwell, Penrose-St. Francis Health Svcs. Lib., Colorado Springs Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The extraordinary history of the little white pill found in just about everyone's medicine cabinet. Justifiably labeling aspirin a wonder drug, British journalist Jeffreys (The Bureau: Inside the Modern FBI, 1995) reminds us that its history dates back to around 3000 b.c., when the ancient Egyptians recorded the medicine value of willow, a source of salicylates. Germany's Bayer Company developed acetylsalicylic acid and gave it the brand name Aspirin in the 19th century, but Bayer's assets were seized by the US during WWI. Jeffreys sorts out the complicated story of the company's subsequent struggle to regain its markets and protect its patents and trademark around the world. Taking a "for the want of a nail" approach, the author attributes to aspirin a significant role in the rise of Nazi Germany, asserting that if the drug had not made Bayer such a strong company, it would not have been able to consolidate German chemical firms into the giant cartel IG Farben, major financial backer of the Nazi party. Competition from other makers of aspirin and from Anacin and Bufferin (painkillers containing aspirin) first challenged Bayer's supremacy; the later introductions of acetaminophen and ibuprofen further divided the analgesic market. Aspirin seemed to have reached the end of its glory days, but the pill got a surprising new lease on life in the 1980s, when research revealed its ability to inhibit platelets in the blood from clotting, which reduced the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Jeffreys also looks at studies suggesting that aspirin may be effective in preventing many forms of cancer, reducing the risk of Alzheimer's and ameliorating less serious conditions such as migraines andperiodontal disease. Some 26,000 scientific papers have already been published, and 2,000 aspirin research projects are in the works: who knows what new uses may next be uncovered?A well-told and intriguing story with surprising twists and turns. Agent: Anthony Sheil/Aitken & Stone
Chicago Tribune
"A fast-paced, medical-historical mystery, filled with twists and turns."
New Scientist
"One of the most fascinating stories in the whole of medicine."
San Diego Union-Tribune
"A remarkable story...This is more than the story of aspirin: It is a history lesson."
San Francisco Chronicle
A San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of 2004
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781596918160
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
  • Publication date: 12/1/2008
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 841,834
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Diarmuid Jeffreys is a writer, journalist and television producer who has made current affairs and documentary programmes for the BBC, Channel 4 and others, including Newsnight and the Money Programme. He is also the author of The Bureau: Inside the Modern FBI. He lives with his wife and children near Lewes in East Sussex.
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Table of Contents

1 If you examine a man ... 5
2 The bark of an English tree 17
3 The puzzle takes shape 35
4 The birth of a wonder drug 56
5 Patents, patients, and sell, sell, sell! 77
6 The chemists' war 97
7 Civilization could disappear ... 123
8 The aspirin age 143
9 A moral collapse 168
10 Soluble solutions and costly competition 195
11 So that's how it works! 219
12 Affairs of the heart 235
13 A twenty-first-century wonder drug 258
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