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Lois Leveen: IMG Forsooth Me Not: Shakespeare, Juliet, Her Nurse, and a Novel



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2 Beaverton Health and Medicine- History of Medicine

The Poisoner's Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York

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The Poisoner's Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York Cover

ISBN13: 9780143118824
ISBN10: 014311882x
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A fascinating Jazz Age tale of chemistry and detection, poison and murder, The Poisoner's Handbook is a page-turning account of a forgotten era.

In early twentieth-century New York, poisons offered an easy path to the perfect crime. Science had no place in the Tammany Hall-controlled coroner's office, and corruption ran rampant. However, with the appointment of chief medical examiner Charles Norris in 1918, the poison game changed forever. Together with toxicologist Alexander Gettler, the duo set the justice system on fire with their trailblazing scientific detective work, triumphing over seemingly unbeatable odds to become the pioneers of forensic chemistry.

Review:

"The Poisoner's Handbook is an inventive history that, like arsenic, mixed into blackberry pie, goes down with ease." The New York Times Book Review

Review:

"Blum illuminates these tales of Norris and Gettler and their era with a dedication and exuberance that reflect the men themselves. Not only is The Poisoner's Handbook as thrilling as any CSI episode, but it also offers something even better: an education in how forensics really works." The Washington Post

Review:

"Blum, a longtime newspaper writer and now a professor of science journalism at the University of Wisconsin, skillfully explains the chemistry behind Gettler's experiments. Her book is sure to appeal to mystery lovers, science nerds and history buffs." Associated Press

Review:

"Fast-paced and suspenseful, The Poisoner's Handbook breathes deadly life into the Roaring Twenties." Financial Times

Review:

"All the nitty-gritty about death by arsenic, by thallium, by wood alcohol, is here in precise, gruesome detail. It makes for a stomach-turning read....Ms. Blum's combination of chemistry and crime fiction creates a vicious, page-turning story that reads more like Raymond Chandler than Madame Curie." New York Observer

Review:

"Formative figures in forensics, Norris and Gettler become fascinating crusaders in Blum's fine depiction of their work in the law-flouting atmosphere of Prohibition-era New York." Booklist

Review:

"Caviar for true-crime fans and science buffs alike." Kirkus Reviews

Synopsis:

A beguiling concoction — equal parts true crime, 20th-century history, and science thriller — The Poisoner's Handbook is a fascinating Jazz Age tale of chemistry and detection, poison, and murder, and the birth of forensic medicine.

Synopsis:

A riveting account of a gruesome triple-homicide at Beekman Place in Depression Era New York, with an intriguing cast of characters including the brilliant but mentally-disturbed sculptor, Robert Irwin.

Synopsis:

Beekman Place, once one of the most exclusive addresses in Manhattan, had a curious way of making it into the tabloids in the 1930s: and#8220;SKYSCRAPER SLAYER,and#8221; and#8220;BEAUTY SLAIN IN BATHTUBand#8221; read the headlines. On Easter Sunday in 1937, the discovery of a grisly triple homicide at Beekman Place would rock the neighborhood yet againand#8212;and enthrall the nation. The young man who committed the murders would come to be known in the annals of American crime as the Mad Sculptor.

and#160;

Caught up in the Easter Sunday slayings was a bizarre and sensationalistic cast of characters, seemingly cooked up in a tabloid editorand#8217;s overheated imagination. The charismatic perpetrator, Robert Irwin, was a brilliant young sculptor who had studied with some of the masters of the era. But with his genius also came a deeply disturbed psyche; Irwin was obsessed with sexual self-mutilation and was frequently overcome by outbursts of violent rage.

and#160;

Irwinand#8217;s primary victim, Veronica Gedeon, was a figure from the world of pulp fantasyand#8212;a stunning photographer's model whose scandalous seminude pinups would titillate the public for weeks after her death. Irwinand#8217;s defense attorney, Samuel Leibowitz, was a courtroom celebrity with an unmatched record of acquittals and clients ranging from Al Capone to the Scottsboro Boys. And Dr. Fredric Wertham, psychiatrist and forensic scientist, befriended Irwin years before the murders and had predicted them in a public lecture months before the crime.

and#160;

Based on extensive research and archival records, The Mad Sculptor recounts the chilling story of the Easter Sunday murdersand#8212;a case that sparked a nationwide manhunt and endures as one of the most engrossing American crime dramas of the twentieth century. Harold Schechterand#8217;s masterful prose evokes the faded glory of post-depression New York and the singular madness of a brilliant mind turned against itself. It will keep you riveted until the very last page.

Synopsis:

Equal parts true crime, twentieth-century history, and science thriller, The Poisoner's Handbook is "a vicious, page-turning story that reads more like Raymond Chandler than Madame Curie" (The New York Observer)

A fascinating Jazz Age tale of chemistry and detection, poison and murder, The Poisoner's Handbook is a page-turning account of a forgotten era. In early twentieth-century New York, poisons offered an easy path to the perfect crime. Science had no place in the Tammany Hall-controlled coroner's office, and corruption ran rampant. However, with the appointment of chief medical examiner Charles Norris in 1918, the poison game changed forever. Together with toxicologist Alexander Gettler, the duo set the justice system on fire with their trailblazing scientific detective work, triumphing over seemingly unbeatable odds to become the pioneers of forensic chemistry and the gatekeepers of justice.

About the Author

Deborah Blum is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, the author of Ghost Hunters, and coeditor of A Field Guide for Science Writers. She is a professor of journalism at the University of Wisconsin, and lives in Madison, Wisconsin.

Table of Contents

and#160;and#160;and#160; Cast of Charactersand#160;and#160;and#160;ix

and#160;and#160;and#160; Prologue: 268 East 52nd Street, New York Cityand#160;and#160;and#160;xiii

Part I: Beekman Place

and#160;and#160;and#160; Dead Endand#160;and#160;and#160;3

and#160;and#160;and#160; Vera and Fritzand#160;and#160;and#160;7

and#160;and#160;and#160; and#8220;Beauty Slain in Bathtuband#8221;and#160;and#160;and#160;29

and#160;and#160;and#160; Sex Fiendsand#160;and#160;and#160;47

Part II: Fenelon

and#160;and#160;and#160; The Firebrandand#160;and#160;and#160;53

and#160;and#160;and#160; The Brothersand#160;and#160;and#160;62

and#160;and#160;and#160; Epiphanyand#160;and#160;and#160;69

and#160;and#160;and#160; Romanelli and Radyand#160;and#160;and#160;81

Part III: The Shadow of Madness

and#160;and#160;and#160; Depressionand#160;and#160;and#160;103

and#160;and#160;and#160; The Gedeonsand#160;and#160;and#160;110

and#160;and#160;and#160; Werthamand#160;and#160;and#160;113

and#160;and#160;and#160; Bug in a Bottleand#160;and#160;and#160;124

and#160;and#160;and#160; The Snake Womanand#160;and#160;and#160;130

and#160;and#160;and#160; Cantonand#160;and#160;and#160;138

and#160;and#160;and#160; Crisisand#160;and#160;and#160;146

Part IV: The Mad Sculptor

and#160;and#160;and#160; Bloody Sundayand#160;and#160;and#160;157

and#160;and#160;and#160; The Party Girland#160;and#160;and#160;169

and#160;and#160;and#160; Murder Sellsand#160;and#160;and#160;182

and#160;and#160;and#160; Prime Suspectand#160;and#160;and#160;203

and#160;and#160;and#160; Manhuntand#160;and#160;and#160;208

Part V: The Defender

and#160;and#160;and#160; Murder in Times Squareand#160;and#160;and#160;223

and#160;and#160;and#160; Henriettaand#160;and#160;and#160;231

and#160;and#160;and#160; The Front Pageand#160;and#160;and#160;237

and#160;and#160;and#160; Confessionand#160;and#160;and#160;243

and#160;and#160;and#160; Celebritiesand#160;and#160;and#160;248

and#160;and#160;and#160; Lunacyand#160;and#160;and#160;267

and#160;and#160;and#160; Pleaand#160;and#160;and#160;277

and#160;and#160;and#160; Aftermathand#160;and#160;and#160;291

and#160;and#160;and#160; Epilogue: The Lonergan Caseand#160;and#160;and#160;303

and#160;and#160;and#160; Acknowledgmentsand#160;and#160;and#160;309

and#160;and#160;and#160; Notesand#160;and#160;and#160;310

and#160;and#160;and#160; Bibliographyand#160;and#160;and#160;334

and#160;and#160;and#160; Indexand#160;and#160;and#160;342

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 6 comments:

Karen from SF, April 3, 2013 (view all comments by Karen from SF)
Do you shy away from non-fiction reads, feeling that they're too preachy, teachy, or dry? This book will make you a convert. With each chapter devoted to a different poisonous substance, Blum wraps science, medicine, politics, and history in compulsively-readable anecdotes of outlandish and fascinating characters. Here you'll find more murder, mayhem, mystery and forensic medicine than an episode of CSI. Did the shy, polite husband kill his heiress wife for her money? Why did the famous movie ingenue drop dead? How does the immortal man finally get done in? Reading this true history of one of the most colorful times and places in US history--New York of the early 20th Century--you'll learn about the birth of forensics, the unintended consequences of prohibition, the fascinating effects of poison on the human body, and the dark side of the human psyche, all while being thoroughly entertained.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Mac McAninch, January 5, 2013 (view all comments by Mac McAninch)
Fantastic read! For anyone interested in the birth of forensic science this book is the last word. For anyone interested in murder, how to solve AND how to commit, this is the rulebook. For anyone interested in creating the perfect whodunit, this is the reference. For anyone interested in the detective genre this book is "Bones" "CSI" and every other shows professional guide. Great pace and truly riveting, this book is part novel part reference and all fascinating.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Rachel Coker, August 6, 2012 (view all comments by Rachel Coker)
A well-researched, compelling book that blends the histories of chemistry and criminology in an interesting way. You'll never think of Prohibition-era America the same way again!
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
View all 6 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780143118824
Author:
Blum, Deborah
Publisher:
Penguin Books
Author:
Schechter, Harold
Subject:
Toxicology
Subject:
Forensic Medicine
Subject:
United States - State & Local - Middle Atlantic
Subject:
Health and Medicine-Medical Specialties
Subject:
Pathological Psychology
Edition Description:
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
20110131
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Illustrations:
23 b/w on 8 page insert
Pages:
336
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 1.26 lb
Age Level:
17-17

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Related Subjects


Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » History of Medicine
Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » Medical Specialties
History and Social Science » Crime » Forensics and Evidence
History and Social Science » Crime » General
History and Social Science » Crime » True Crime
History and Social Science » Sale Books
History and Social Science » World History » General

The Poisoner's Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York Used Trade Paper
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Product details 336 pages Penguin Books - English 9780143118824 Reviews:
"Review" by , "The Poisoner's Handbook is an inventive history that, like arsenic, mixed into blackberry pie, goes down with ease."
"Review" by , "Blum illuminates these tales of Norris and Gettler and their era with a dedication and exuberance that reflect the men themselves. Not only is The Poisoner's Handbook as thrilling as any CSI episode, but it also offers something even better: an education in how forensics really works."
"Review" by , "Blum, a longtime newspaper writer and now a professor of science journalism at the University of Wisconsin, skillfully explains the chemistry behind Gettler's experiments. Her book is sure to appeal to mystery lovers, science nerds and history buffs."
"Review" by , "Fast-paced and suspenseful, The Poisoner's Handbook breathes deadly life into the Roaring Twenties."
"Review" by , "All the nitty-gritty about death by arsenic, by thallium, by wood alcohol, is here in precise, gruesome detail. It makes for a stomach-turning read....Ms. Blum's combination of chemistry and crime fiction creates a vicious, page-turning story that reads more like Raymond Chandler than Madame Curie."
"Review" by , "Formative figures in forensics, Norris and Gettler become fascinating crusaders in Blum's fine depiction of their work in the law-flouting atmosphere of Prohibition-era New York."
"Review" by , "Caviar for true-crime fans and science buffs alike."
"Synopsis" by , A beguiling concoction — equal parts true crime, 20th-century history, and science thriller — The Poisoner's Handbook is a fascinating Jazz Age tale of chemistry and detection, poison, and murder, and the birth of forensic medicine.
"Synopsis" by , A riveting account of a gruesome triple-homicide at Beekman Place in Depression Era New York, with an intriguing cast of characters including the brilliant but mentally-disturbed sculptor, Robert Irwin.
"Synopsis" by , Beekman Place, once one of the most exclusive addresses in Manhattan, had a curious way of making it into the tabloids in the 1930s: and#8220;SKYSCRAPER SLAYER,and#8221; and#8220;BEAUTY SLAIN IN BATHTUBand#8221; read the headlines. On Easter Sunday in 1937, the discovery of a grisly triple homicide at Beekman Place would rock the neighborhood yet againand#8212;and enthrall the nation. The young man who committed the murders would come to be known in the annals of American crime as the Mad Sculptor.

and#160;

Caught up in the Easter Sunday slayings was a bizarre and sensationalistic cast of characters, seemingly cooked up in a tabloid editorand#8217;s overheated imagination. The charismatic perpetrator, Robert Irwin, was a brilliant young sculptor who had studied with some of the masters of the era. But with his genius also came a deeply disturbed psyche; Irwin was obsessed with sexual self-mutilation and was frequently overcome by outbursts of violent rage.

and#160;

Irwinand#8217;s primary victim, Veronica Gedeon, was a figure from the world of pulp fantasyand#8212;a stunning photographer's model whose scandalous seminude pinups would titillate the public for weeks after her death. Irwinand#8217;s defense attorney, Samuel Leibowitz, was a courtroom celebrity with an unmatched record of acquittals and clients ranging from Al Capone to the Scottsboro Boys. And Dr. Fredric Wertham, psychiatrist and forensic scientist, befriended Irwin years before the murders and had predicted them in a public lecture months before the crime.

and#160;

Based on extensive research and archival records, The Mad Sculptor recounts the chilling story of the Easter Sunday murdersand#8212;a case that sparked a nationwide manhunt and endures as one of the most engrossing American crime dramas of the twentieth century. Harold Schechterand#8217;s masterful prose evokes the faded glory of post-depression New York and the singular madness of a brilliant mind turned against itself. It will keep you riveted until the very last page.

"Synopsis" by ,
Equal parts true crime, twentieth-century history, and science thriller, The Poisoner's Handbook is "a vicious, page-turning story that reads more like Raymond Chandler than Madame Curie" (The New York Observer)

A fascinating Jazz Age tale of chemistry and detection, poison and murder, The Poisoner's Handbook is a page-turning account of a forgotten era. In early twentieth-century New York, poisons offered an easy path to the perfect crime. Science had no place in the Tammany Hall-controlled coroner's office, and corruption ran rampant. However, with the appointment of chief medical examiner Charles Norris in 1918, the poison game changed forever. Together with toxicologist Alexander Gettler, the duo set the justice system on fire with their trailblazing scientific detective work, triumphing over seemingly unbeatable odds to become the pioneers of forensic chemistry and the gatekeepers of justice.

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