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This Man's Pill presents a forcefully revisionist account of the early history of the Pill, debunking many of the journalistic and romantic accounts of its scientific origin. Djerassi does not shrink from exploring why we have no Pill for men or why Japan only approved the Pill in 1999 (together with Viagra). Emphasizing that development of the Pill occurred during the post-War period of technological euphoria, he believes that it could not be repeated in today's climate. Would the sexual revolution of the 1960s or the impending separation of sex ('in bed') and fertilization ('under the microscope') still have happened? This Man's Pill answers such questions while providing a uniquely authoritative account of a discovery that changed the world.
"A learned memoir.... Djerassi's meditations on 'science in theater' and other aspects of the writing life are sprinkled through the book, giving this winning, disorganized set of reflections depth and heart."--Publishers Weekly
"A memoir of the birth control pill's monumental impact on its creator's life, as well as a capsule history of the Pill's development.... [Djerassi] looks at the Pill's acceptance around the world and raises some interesting what-if-it-hadn't-been-invented questions, but the heart of the matter is how the oral contraceptive changed Djerassi's own life. It brought him out of the chemistry lab and turned him into a novelist, poet, playwright, and innovative educator.... Knowingly and gloriously boastful."--Kirkus Reviews
"To a degree almost totally foreign to scientists, Carl Djerassi has put himself and his science under the microscope. In the process, he ranges far afield from the social implications of this monumental synthesis of the birth control 'Pill' to his most recent excursions into the expression of science in literature, with poetry, fiction and the drama as his media. Join this voyeuristic feast."--Joshua Lederbe
"Carl Djerassi's scientific authorship of one of the most socially significant innovations of our time is well known. In this book, he examines the implications and social reception of the Pill with a combination of humanistic concern and careful socio-scientific analysis that is as rare as it is valuable.'"--Kenneth J Arrow, Nobel laureate in Economics, 1972
1. An exaltation of thirty: Murasaki and company
2. Genealogy and birth of the pill
3. Bitter pills
4. The view from Tokyo
5. Sex and Immortality
6. From the pill to the PC
7. Science-in-fiction is not science fiction. Is it autobiography?
8. Behind the scrim of fiction
9. The softer chemist
10. The pill and Paul Klee
11. Science on stage
12. What if?