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Ten Drugs: Book summary and reviews of Ten Drugs by Thomas Hager

Ten Drugs

How Plants, Powders, and Pills Have Shaped the History of Medicine

by Thomas Hager

Ten Drugs by Thomas Hager X
Ten Drugs by Thomas Hager
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Book Summary

This is a deep, wide-ranging, and wildly entertaining book exploring the story behind the discovery of ten landmark drugs.

Behind every landmark drug is a story. It could be an oddball researcher's genius insight, a catalyzing moment in geopolitical history, a new breakthrough technology, or an unexpected but welcome side effect discovered during clinical trials. Piece together these stories, as Thomas Hager does in this remarkable, century-spanning history, and you can trace the evolution of our culture and the practice of medicine. 

​ Beginning with opium, the "joy plant," which has been used for 10,000 years, Hager tells a captivating story of medicine. His subjects include the largely forgotten female pioneer who introduced smallpox inoculation to Britain, the infamous knockout drops, the first antibiotic, which saved countless lives, the first antipsychotic, which helped empty public mental hospitals, Viagra, statins, and the new frontier of monoclonal antibodies.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. An expert, mostly feel-good book about modern medicine." - Kirkus

"Lucidly informative and compulsively readable...Hager's thoughtful and captivating survey leaves readers with the insights that finding 'magic bullets' - all-powerful drugs with no risk - is unlikely, and that no drug is all good or all bad." - Publishers Weekly

"Well-written, well-researched and fascinating to read, Ten Drugs provides an insightful look at how drugs have shaped modern medical practices...Hager writes that he 'came away surprised by some of the things he had learned.' I had the very same reaction." - Penny Le Couteur author of Napoleon's Buttons: How 17 Molecules Changed History

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Author Information

Thomas Hager

Thomas Hager is an award-winning author of books on the history of science and medicine, including The Demon Under the Microscope. He is a courtesy associate professor of journalism and communication at the University of Oregon.

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