*The Emperor of all Maladies*

The author is Siddhartha Mukherjee and the subtitle is A Biography of Cancer.  This is not a typical excerpt, but it works as an excerpt for this blog:

In 1942, when Merck had shipped out its first batch of penicillin — a mere five and a half grams of the drug — that amount had represented half of the entire stock of the antibiotic in America.  A decade later, penicillin was being mass-produced so effectively that its price had sunk to four cents for a dose, one-eighth the cost of a half gallon of milk.

This book deserves its rave reviews; it is one of the best non-fiction works of the year.

Related to this topic, here is an update on Christopher Hitchens.


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