Breakthrough

Breakthrough

Banting, Best, and the Race to Save Millions of Diabetics

Book - 2010
Average Rating:
2
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Penguin Putnam
It is 1919, and Elizabeth Hughes, the 11-year-old daughter of America's most distinguished jurist and politician, Charles Evans Hughes, has been diagnosed with juvenile diabetes. It is essentially a death sentence. The only accepted form of treatment—starvation—whittles her down to 45 pounds of skin and bones. Miles away, Canadian researchers Frederick Banting and Charles Best manage to identify and purify insulin from animal pancreases—a miracle soon marred by scientific jealousy, intense business competition, and fist fights. In a race against time and a ravaging disease, Elizabeth becomes one of the first diabetics to receive insulin injections—all while its discoverers and a little-known pharmaceutical company struggle to make it available to the rest of the world.

Relive the heartwarming true story of the discovery of insulin as it has never before been told, written with authentic detail and suspense, and featuring walk-ons by William Howard Taft, Woodrow Wilson, and Eli Lilly, among many others.



Publisher: Toronto : Viking Canada, c2010
ISBN: 9780670064700
Branch Call Number: 616.462 COO
Characteristics: viii, 306 p. ;,24 cm.
Additional Contributors: Ainsberg, Arthur

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giraffe
May 10, 2012

An engaging, insightful and balanced story about the search for a treatment for sufferers of juvenile diabetes. Banting's great (and unlikely) insight about insulin, is presented in the detailed context of a larger cast of characters and the times and places in which they lived: doctors, researchers, diabetics and their parents, pharmaceutical companies, university administrators, nurses, journalists and so on. A four-star page turner that is unfortunately marred in parts by the unnecessary insertion of unbelievable imagined dialogue and ruminations that made this reader wince. Therefore only three stars.

j
janmars
Mar 30, 2011

An interesting interpretation of the years leading up to the mass marketing of insulin. The authors make use of interviews and old journals kept by the principal characters. They manage to keep what could be a very sad journey readable by focusing on a remarkable case of survival. Their story does leave some questions, but even those could be more dramatic licence than actual mystery.

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