Poisons by Peter Macinnis
From Hemlock to Botox to the Killer Bean of Calabar

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In the tradition of Salt and Stiff, a wide-ranging and provocative look-teeming with little-known facts and engaging stories-at a subject of the direst interest. Poisons permeate our world. They are in the environment, the workplace, the home. They are in food, our favorite whiskey, medicine, well water. They have been used to cure disease as well as to incapacitate and kill. They smooth wrinkles, block pain, stimulate, and enhance athletic ability. In this entertaining and fact-filled book, science writer Peter Macinnis considers poisons in all their aspects. He recounts stories of the celebrated poisoners in history and literature, from Nero to Thomas Wainewright, and from the death of Socrates to Hamlet and Peter Pan. He discusses the sources of various poisons-from cyanide to strychnine, from Botox to ricin and Sarin gas-as well as their detection. Then he analyzes the science of their action in the body and their uses in medicine, cosmetics, war, and terrorism. With wit and precision, he weighs such questions as: Was Lincoln's volatility caused by mercury poisoning? Was Jack the Ripper an arsenic eater? Can wallpaper kill? For anyone who has ever wondered and been afraid to ask, here is a rich miscellany for your secret questions about toxins.

About Peter Macinnis

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Peter Macinnis, a science writer, has also been a teacher and museum educator. The author of twenty books for adults and children, including "Bittersweet: The Story of Sugar" and "Poisons: From Hemlock to Botox and the Killer Bean of Calabar", he has appeared on radio and television in his native Australia. He now works for an online encyclopedia and lives in Sydney.
Published May 12, 2005 by Arcade Publishing. 256 pages
Genres: History. Non-fiction

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MacInnes (Bittersweet: The Story of Sugar, 2003), an Australian science writer, has fun with his deadly subject, giving the reader a glimpse of famous poisoners and their victims, a bit of the science of poisons and their detection, and a brief survey of the uses and abuses, intentional and accid...

May 12 2005 | Read Full Review of Poisons: From Hemlock to Boto...

Publishers Weekly

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Macinnis ranges widely and rather lightheartedly in investigating the uses and misuses of poisons (which have received media interest of late because of the poisoning of Ukrainian prime minister Yu

Mar 14 2005 | Read Full Review of Poisons: From Hemlock to Boto...

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