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This Mans Pill Reflections on the 50TH Aby Carl Djerassi
Synopses & Reviews
On October 15, 1951, in a small laboratory in Mexico City, one of the key episodes in 20th century social history occurred: the first synthesis of a steroid oral contraceptive--an event that triggered the development of the Pill. Carl Djerassi has been honored worldwide for that accomplishment, which ultimately changed the life of women and the nature of human reproduction in ways that were not then foreseeable.
Now, on the 50th anniversary of this pivotal event, Djerassi weaves a compelling personal narrative full of self-reflection and humor, illuminating the impact this invention has had on the world at large and on him personally. This Man's Pill presents a forcefully revisionist account of the early history of the Pill, debunking many of the journalistic and romantic accounts of its scientific origin. Djerassi does not shrink from exploring why we have no Pill for men or why Japan only approved the Pill in 1999 (together with Viagra). Emphasizing that development of the Pill occurred during the post-War period of technological euphoria, he believes that it could not be repeated in today's climate. Would the sexual revolution of the 1960s or the impending separation of sex ("in bed") and fertilization ("under the microscope") still have happened?
Djerassi also credits the Pill with radically altering his life, allowing him to become one of the few American chemists to have a second career, that of a novelist and playwright. These talents are clearly evident in This Man's Pill, a superbly written and uniquely authoritative account of a discovery that changed the world.
About the Author
Carl Djerassi is Professor of Chemistry at Stanford University. One of the world's leading organic chemists, he is one of the few scientists to win both the National Medal of Science and the National Medal of Technology. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, is the author of five novels and several plays, and was named by Time Magazine one of the 30 most eminent people of the millennium.
Table of Contents
1. An exaltation of thirty: Murasaki and company
2. Genealogy and birth of the pill
3. Bitter pills
4. The view from Tokyo
5. Sex and Immortality
6. From the pill to the PC
7. Science-in-fiction is not science fiction. Is it autobiography?
8. Behind the scrim of fiction
9. The softer chemist
10. The pill and Paul Klee
11. Science on stage
12. What if?
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