This book is a collection of chapters showcasing work in a new but flourishing area in the history of medicine, the history of pharmaceuticals in the twentieth century. All of the work, some of it reflecting new research but most of it reviewing each author’s older work, adheres closely to the theme of “therapeutic revolution” inspired by Rosenberg’s influential 1977 article.1 In that work, Rosenberg portrayed the nineteenth century as the moment when medicine first adopted science, thus abandoning its traditional interventions (like bloodletting), leading to a dark period of therapeutic nihilism, until the laboratory eventually spawned new drugs and vaccines. Indeed, scientists, drug firms, and policymakers alike claim a new therapeutic revolution for pharmaceuticals during the twentieth century, referring to the dramatic passage from the nerve tonics and snake oils of the 1900s to the magic bullets that have “cured” every major illness besides cancer since World War...
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November 01 2017
Therapeutic Revolutions: Pharmaceuticals and Social Change in the Twentieth Century
Therapeutic Revolutions: Pharmaceuticals and Social Change in the Twentieth Century. By
University of Chicago Press,
University of New South Wales
Online Issn: 1530-9169
Print Issn: 0022-1953
© 2017 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and The Journal of Interdisciplinary History, Inc.
by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and The Journal of Interdisciplinary History, Inc.
The Journal of Interdisciplinary History (2017) 48 (3): 402–404.
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Nicolas Rasmussen; Therapeutic Revolutions: Pharmaceuticals and Social Change in the Twentieth Century. The Journal of Interdisciplinary History 2017; 48 (3): 402–404. doi: https://doi.org/10.1162/JINH_r_01172
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