The Mold in Dr. Florey's Coat: The Story of the Penicillin Miracle

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Henry Holt and Company, Jun 2, 2015 - Medical - 320 pages

The untold story of the discovery of the first wonder drug, the men who led the way, and how it changed the modern world

The discovery of penicillin in 1928 ushered in a new age in medicine. But it took a team of Oxford scientists headed by Howard Florey and Ernst Chain four more years to develop it as the first antibiotic, and the most important family of drugs in the twentieth century. At once the world was transformed-major bacterial scourges such as blood poisoning and pneumonia, scarlet fever and diphtheria, gonorrhea and syphilis were defeated as penicillin helped to foster not only a medical revolution but a sexual one as well. In his wonderfully engaging book, acclaimed author Eric Lax tells the real story behind the discovery and why it took so long to develop the drug. He reveals the reasons why credit for penicillin was misplaced, and why this astonishing achievement garnered a Nobel Prize but no financial rewards for Alexander Fleming, Florey, and his team.

The Mold in Dr. Florey's Coat is the compelling story of the passage of medicine from one era to the next and of the eccentric individuals whose participation in this extraordinary accomplishment has, until now, remained largely unknown.


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THE MOLD IN DR. FLOREY'S COAT: The Story of Penicillin and the Modern Age of Medical Miracles

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Veteran journalist and author Lax (Woody Allen, 1991, etc.) takes a revealing look back at the time when world-altering science was done on a shoestring, bringing to brilliant life the story of the ... Read full review

The mold in Dr. Florey's coat: the story of the penicillin miracle

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Lax, whose previous Life and Death on 10 West and Woody Allen: A Biography drew favorable reviews, turns his attention to the fascinating story surrounding the development of penicillin during World ... Read full review


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The Rough Colonial Genius
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The Temperamental Continental
The Micro Master
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Will These Plans Come to Grief?
The Friend in Deed
The Kilo That Never Came
The Laurel Wreath of Credit
The Thinking in Stockholm
The Makers of Great Medicine


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About the author (2015)

Eric Lax is the author of Woody Allen, A Biography and Life and Death on 10 West, both New York Times Notable Books. His work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Vanity Fair, Life, The Atlantic Monthly, and Esquire as well as many other magazines and newspapers. He lives with his wife and two sons in Los Angeles.

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