From Greek philosophers to Russian spies, poisons have a long and colorful history. Easy to obtain and administer, they are often hard to detect or trace. They kill, but they also smooth wrinkles, calm nerves, provide visions, and cure illnesses. The history of poison is also the history of medicine, and it plays a vital role in the histories of science, industry, and agriculture. From arsenic and belladonna to thallium and Zyklon B, Poison explores the nature of toxicity and reveals how poisons intersect with our everyday lives. In a compelling blend of fascinating and informative text complemented by evocative illustrations and engaging sidebars, Joel Levy uncovers history's most notorious poisoners and their victimsfrom Cesare Borgia and Isaac Newton to Erwin Rommel and Saddam Hussein. His enlightening case studies provide easily digestible profiles of specific substances, whether the elusive potion behind the death of Socrates or cocaine. Learn the differences among poisons, toxins, and venoms; the five stages of poisoning; how many bee stings it takes to kill someone; and what you should really do if a poisonous snake bites you.Take a good dose of Poison for an experience you will never forget.