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Title: Blood: An Epic History of Medicine & Commerce
Published by: Diane Pub Co
Pages: 449
ISBN13: 978-0756792497


Essence and emblem of life – feared, revered, mythologized, and used in magic and medicine from earliest times – human blood is now the center of a huge, secretive, and often dangerous worldwide commerce. It is a commerce whose impact on humanity rivals that of any other business. Millions of lives have been saved by blood and his various derivatives, and tens of thousands of lives have been lost.

Douglas Starr’s sweeping history is a fascinating tale that ranges across centuries and continents – the curing of madmen with animal blood in 17th century France, the development of transfusion with the of Vienna and New York… the grisly Soviet experiments of the 1930s with cadaver blood. It explains how the medical breakthroughs of World War II laid the foundation of the global marketplace worth billions of dollars per year. The author recounts the tragic spread of AIDS through the distribution of contaminated blood products, and describes why and how related scandals erupted around the world. Finally he looks at the latest attempts to make artificial blood – a Holy Grail of the pharmaceutical industry that remains tantalizingly just beyond the scientists’ grasp.

Winner of the Los Angeles Times book award (science and technology)...this groundbreaking book tackles a subject of universal and urgent importance and explores the perils and promises that lie ahead.


“Riveting… A fascinating history…A rich story admirably told.”
New York Times

“A gripping page turner, a significant contribution to the history of medicine and technology and a cautionary tale.”
Los Angeles Times Book Prize Judges’ Citation

“This rewarding book, filled with sharp science, as everything from a brief survey of blood leading to an account of the massive mobilization of donated blood for the Allied invasion of Normandy. But its real subject is the postwar rise of the 'blood services complex,' which controls the global market for blood products.”
The New Yorker

“Reads like a thriller. Starr is a wonderful storyteller as well as a sober historian.”
Dallas Morning News

“Totally fascinating.”
Library Journal

“Extraordinarily intriguing.”
Science News

Blood is a story of human frailty and courage, a book from which any reader could learn.”
New England Journal of Medicine

“A spellbinding, medical and social history…”
The Sciences

“An intriguing book… with some important lessons for public health.”
Business Week

“Starr’s lively history… courses with greed, all true wisdom, and a woozily vivid detail.”
Entertainment Weekly (“A” rating)

“Meticulously researched, elegantly told.”

“Starr writes like a wildly enthusiastic high school biology teacher who arrives each day bristling with excitement, leaping about before the chalkboard, cracking jokes and zealously banging his fist on his desk. Even the most in different brands pay attention, and so too will readers… Starr has created what amounts to a history of the human race perceived through the filter of blood is medical product.”
Village Voice Literary Supplement

“In its international scope, years of research, and implications for our collective future, Bloodis truly an epic.”
Toronto Globe and Mail.

The New York Review of Books

The Evening Standard (London)