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The Poison Squad
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About the Author

Deborah Blum is director of the Knight Science Journalism Program at MIT, and editor of Undark magazine, (undark.org). In 1992, she won the Pulitzer Prize for a series on primate research, which she turned into a book, The Monkey Wars. Her other books include The Poisoner's Handbook, Ghost Hunters, Love at Goon Park, and Sex on the Brain. She has written for publications including The New York Times, Wired, Time, Discover, Mother Jones, The Guardian and The Boston Globe. Blum is a past president of the National Association of Science Writers, a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a lifetime associate of the National Academy of Sciences.

Reviews

Full of fascinating detail . . . a valuable contribution to understanding the politics of food."--Nature

"[Blum's] prose is graceful, and her book is full of vivid, unsettling detail. . . . The Poison Squad offers a powerful reminder that truth can defeat lies, that government can protect consumers and that an honest public servant can overcome the greed of private interests."--Eric Schlosser, New York Times Book Review "A detailed, highly readable history of food and drink regulation in the United States. . . . [THE POISON SQUAD] shows the push and pull of competing economic, political and social interests. The journey our country has taken in establishing food, drink and drug regulation is an important one to understand because it is still going on."--Wall Street Journal "Blum draws from her meticulous research to re-create the battle between regulation in the name of consumer protection and production in the name of profits."--Scientific American "Riveting. . . . Blum isn't just telling one scientist's story but a broader one about the relationship between science and society. . . . [A] timely tale about how scientists and citizens can work together on meaningful consumer protections."--Science magazine "[E]ngrossing. . . . Blum's well-informed narrative--complete with intricate battles between industry lobbyists and a coalition of scientists, food activists, and women's groups--illuminates the birth of the modern regulatory state and its tangle of reformist zeal, policy dog-fights, and occasional overreach. . . . [A] page-turner."--Publishers Weekly "You've probably never heard of Harvey Washington Wiley, but he's probably the reason you aren't sick right now. . . . Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Blum tells [Wiley's] whole story in this fascinating book."--Lit Hub "Fascinating. . . . The Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906 ended a century of scandal and bitter political maneuvering, with major impetus from Harvey Washington Wiley, a genuinely unknown American hero. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Blum offers less a biography than a vivid account of Wiley's achievements. . . . An expert life of an undeservedly obscure American."--Kirkus "[A] compellingly detailed chronicle. . . . Citing worrisome recent attacks on consumer-protection laws, Blum reminds readers of the twenty-first-century relevance of Wiley's cause."--Booklist

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