In a brilliant, definitive history of one of the most significant and controversial medical events of modern times, award-winning historian Michael Bliss brings to light a bizarre clash of scientific personalities. When F. G. Banting and J. J. R. Macleod won the 1923 Nobel Prize for discovering and isolating insulin, Banting immediately announced that he was dividing his share of the prize with his young associate, C. H. Best. Macleod divided his share with a fourth member of the team, J. B. Collip. For the next sixty years medical opinion was intensely divided over the allotment of credit for the discovery of insulin. In resolving this controversy, Bliss also offers a wealth of new detail on such subjects as the treatment of diabetes before insulin and the life-and-death struggle to manufacture insulin.
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Michael Bliss is University Professor Emeritus at the University of Toronto, a recipient of the Order of Canada, and an honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. He is the award-winning author of many books, including William Osler: A Life in Medicine and Harvey Cushing: A Life in Surgery.
"This story of insulin''s discovery ought to be a novel . . . but Michael Bliss''s splendid account is just as absorbing as any fiction."
"Bliss''s excellent account of the insulin story is a rare dissection of the anatomy of scientific discovery, and serves as a model of how rigorous historical method can correct the myths and legends sometimes perpetuated in the scientific literature."--Nicholas Wade, "The New Republic
"For diabetics who want to know why they are alive, for doctors, nurses and others who are concerned about diabetes, and for any person who has the slightest curiosity about the way medicine moves, this book will be a joy."--;/div>--David Pyke "New Balance "
""The Discovery of Insulin" is the true tale of the medical and scientific detective work and intrigue that led to what is arguably one of the greatest achievements of the 20th century. . . . The story reads like one of Berton Rouche's medical detective tales or a Michael Crichton science fiction novel. . . . [A] memorable read by a first rate author and historian." Robert Matz, "British Medical Journal--Robert Matz "British Medical Journal "
"Twenty-five years ago, the historian Michael Bliss composed his remarkably illuminating recounting of this saga. It has proved to be the definitive account."--Chris Feudtner "New England Journal of Medicine "
"Using previously unpublished, suppressed or privately circulated documents, Bliss sets forth the full story of the epochal discovery. It is a tale of frustration, tension and acute personal rivalry. . . . [But] the book has moments of pure delight. Bliss quotes extensively from the letters of one of Banting's first patients, Elizabeth Hughes, the 15-year-old, 45-pound and very brave daughter of U.S. Secretary of State Charles Evans Hughes. We see Banting and Best relaxing in the lab, frying eggs over a Bunsen burner. Thoroughly researched and well written, "The Discovery of Insulin" deserves a place on the bookshelf alongside such eye-openers as James Watson's "The Double Helix" and Nicholas Wade's "The Nobel Duel"."--;I>The Washington Post"--Peter H. Desmond "Washington Post "
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