Medicating Modern America

Prescription Drugs in History

Elizabeth Siegel Watkins
Andrea Tone

NYU Press (publisher)

With Americans paying more than $200 billion each year for prescription pills, the pharmaceutical business is the most profitable in the nation. The popularity of prescription drugs in recent decades has remade the doctor/patient relationship, instituting prescription-writing and pill-taking as an integral part of medical practice and everyday life.
Medicating Modern America examines the meanings behind this pharmaceutical revolution through the interconnected histories of eight of the most influential and important drugs: antibiotics, mood stabilizers, hormone replacement therapy, oral contraceptives, tranquilizers, stimulants, statins, and Viagra. All of these drugs have been popular, profitable, influential, and controversial, and the authors take a historical approach to studying their development, prescription, and consumption. This perspective locates the histories of prescription medicines in specific cultural contexts while revealing the extent to which contemporary debates about pharmaceutical drugs echo concerns voiced by Americans in the past.
Exploring the rich and multi-faceted history of pharmaceutical drugs in the United States, Medicating Modern America unveils the untold stories behind America's pharmaceutical obsession.
Contributors include: Robert Bud, Jennifer R. Fishman, Jeremy A. Greene, David Healy, Suzanne White Junod, Ilina Singh, Andrea Tone, and Elizabeth Siegel Watkins.

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