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The epic history of how antibiotics were born, saving millions of lives and creating a vast new industry known as Big Pharma.

As late as the 1930s, virtually no drug intended for sickness did any good; doctors could set bones, deliver babies, and offer palliative care. That all changed in less than a generation with the discovery and development of a new category of medicine known as antibiotics. By 1955, the age-old evolutionary relationship between humans and microbes had been transformed, trivializing once-deadly infections.
William Rosen captures this revolution with all its false starts, lucky surprises, and eccentric characters. He explains why, given the complex nature of bacteria - and their ability to rapidly evolve into new forms - the only way to locate and test potential antibiotic strains is by large-scale, systematic, trial-and-error experimentation. Organizing that research needs large, well-funded organizations and businesses, and so our entire scientific-industrial complex, built around the pharmaceutical company, was born.
Timely, engrossing, and eye-opening, Miracle Cure is a must-read science narrative - a drama of enormous range, combining science, technology, politics, and economics to illuminate the reasons behind one of the most dramatic changes in humanity's relationship with nature since the invention of agriculture ten thousand years ago.



About the Author

William Rosen

William Rosen was an historian and author who previously was an editor an publisher at Macmillan, Simon & Schuster, and the Free Press for nearly twenty-five years. He lived in Princeton, New Jersey. From recent obituaryWilliam Rosen PRINCETON JUNCTION Author William Rosen, 61, whose works of narrative nonfiction include "Justinian's Flea" and "The Most Powerful Idea in the World: The Story of Steam, Industry and Invention," died at home on April 28, 2016, of gastrointestinal stromal cancer, according to his agent. Born in California, Rosen worked for nearly 25 years as an editor and publisher at Macmillan, Simon and Schuster and the Free Press before becoming an author. With a writing style that used anecdotes to pull together the threads of discovery and innovation, Rosen authored or co-authored books on education, traffic, antibiotics, and climate change. Bill Gates said of Rosen's work, "Rosen argues that only with the ability to measure incremental advances--such as whether a lighter part lowers fuel consumption, or one engine produces more power than another--can you achieve sustained innovation. Rosen's view fits my own view of the power of measurement. " Rosen grew up in Los Angeles, CA, attended UCLA and, after a brief stint at John Wiley and Sons, moved east for publishing. He edited books authored by George Will, as well as William Bennett, Bernard Lewis, Maya Lin, and Leon Kass. But he found true fulfillment writing books instead of only publishing them.



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