Picture of author.
14+ Works 4,159 Members 176 Reviews 4 Favorited

About the Author

Deborah Blum won a Pulitzer Prize in 1992 for her writing and reporting about primate experiments and ethics, a subject that she further explored in her first book, The Monkey Wars. Her second book, Sex on the Brain, was a New York Times Notable Book for 1997. Blum is a professor of journalism at show more the University of Wisconsin, and president-elect of the National Association of Science Writers. She lives with her husband and two sons in Madison, Wisconsin show less

Works by Deborah Blum

Associated Works

The Best American Science Writing 2011 (2011) — Contributor — 86 copies

Tagged

1920s (29) 20th century (25) American history (23) biography (48) biology (25) chemistry (68) crime (85) ebook (40) forensic medicine (33) forensic science (31) forensics (108) ghosts (52) history (336) history of science (18) Kindle (30) medicine (38) murder (43) mystery (20) New York (61) New York City (41) non-fiction (538) own (19) paranormal (37) parapsychology (20) poison (101) prohibition (50) psychology (63) read (37) science (287) science writing (27) spiritualism (39) supernatural (19) to-read (474) toxicology (30) true crime (117) unread (24) USA (19) William James (19) wishlist (21) writing (36)

Common Knowledge

Members

Reviews

This was a very detailed account of Dr. Harvey Wiley's career as a food chemist in the Department of Agriculture. Over several decades he researched the food industry, then tested consumer products. He recommended and fought for reform. This, and his efforts to inform the public made him an enemy of some unsavory businesses and quite unpopular with some of his colleagues.
Some of the descriptions of spoiled or adulterated food that the author included are so disgusting that I had to stop reading for a bit and let my stomach settle.... and I am not known for having a weak stomach! While it s important for readers to visualize the poor and most likely dangerous the quality of food was at the end of the 19th century, readers may want to skim some of grosser passages.… (more)
 
Flagged
Chrissylou62 | 18 other reviews | Apr 11, 2024 |
Did you know that lead has recently been found in some cinnamon spice products? You should have been around before , and even after 1906, when anything that could be added to food was added, and nothing was ever inspected. People, and especially children, died after consuming bad milk, candy (legally laced with arsenic as a decoration), and all kinds of additives.
I found the pictures of old, white men helpful as I tried to keep track of the good guys (chemists and muckraking journalists) vs the baddies, (food processors, corrupt politicians).
Made me appreciate the fight it took to even pass safe food laws, never mind enforcing them. Of course, even today, the fight continues.
I appreciate the good fight the original heroes fought.
I also have a new respect for Good Housekeeping Magazine, an early food safety champion.
… (more)
 
Flagged
juliechabon | 18 other reviews | Apr 5, 2024 |
Fascinating look at the pioneers of forensic medicine
 
Flagged
corliss12000 | 128 other reviews | Mar 16, 2024 |
I definitely lean on the skeptical side, so much so that if I hadn't stumbled across this because I read Blum's book on poisons, it is very unlikely I would have read it. Still, that would have been my loss. If you are going to reject something, you should know what kind of reasons you have for doing so. I am a great admirer of Wallace and spiritualism definitely undermined his career, as well as throwing a wrench into the friendship between great magician Harry Houdini , decidedly anti-spirtualism, and Sherlock Holmes author Arthur Conan Doyle, a beleiver if ever there was one. Seeing that serious attempts were made to scientifically investigate such phenomenon makes it easier to understand how such things could have happened to intelligent and serious minded individuals like Doyle and Wallace.… (more)
 
Flagged
cspiwak | 8 other reviews | Mar 6, 2024 |

Lists

Awards

You May Also Like

Associated Authors

Statistics

Works
14
Also by
2
Members
4,159
Popularity
#6,052
Rating
4.0
Reviews
176
ISBNs
69
Languages
3
Favorited
4

Charts & Graphs