This Man's Pill by Carl Djerassi
Reflections on the 50th Birthday of the Pill

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Synopsis

On October 15, 1951, in a small laboratory in Mexico City, one of the key episodes in 20th century social history occurred: the first synthesis of a steroid oral contraceptive--an event that triggered the development of the Pill. Carl Djerassi has been honored worldwide for that accomplishment, which ultimately changed the life of women and the nature of human reproduction in ways that were not then foreseeable.
Now, on the 50th anniversary of this pivotal event, Djerassi weaves a compelling personal narrative full of self-reflection and humor, illuminating the impact this invention has had on the world at large and on him personally. This Man's Pill presents a forcefully revisionist account of the early history of the Pill, debunking many of the journalistic and romantic accounts of its scientific origin. Djerassi does not shrink from exploring why we have no Pill for men or why Japan only approved the Pill in 1999 (together with Viagra). Emphasizing that development of the Pill occurred during the post-War period of technological euphoria, he believes that it could not be repeated in today's climate. Would the sexual revolution of the 1960s or the impending separation of sex ("in bed") and fertilization ("under the microscope") still have happened?
Djerassi also credits the Pill with radically altering his life, allowing him to become one of the few American chemists to have a second career, that of a novelist and playwright. These talents are clearly evident in This Man's Pill, a superbly written and uniquely authoritative account of a discovery that changed the world.
 

About Carl Djerassi

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Carl Djerassiis Professor of Chemistry at Stanford University. One of the world's leading organic chemists, he is one of the few scientists to win both the National Medal of Science and the National Medal of Technology. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, is the author of five novels and several plays, and was named byTime Magazineone of the 30 most eminent people of the millennium.
 
Published October 11, 2001 by Oxford University Press. 320 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Professional & Technical, Science & Math, Education & Reference. Non-fiction

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A memoir of the birth control pill’s monumental impact on its creator’s life, as well as a capsule history of the Pill’s development—and a response to those who blame it for various current social woes.

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"Until 1969, I would have described myself as a 'hard' scientist, the proudly macho adjective employed by chemists and other physical scientists to distinguish their work from the

Jul 16 2001 | Read Full Review of This Man's Pill: Reflections ...

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The first part of this memoir is a well-reasoned apologetic on the pill's origins and its benefits to women, where Djerassi follows familiar debunkings: of fundamentalists, on the one hand, who regarded the pill as "a symbol, if not an agent, of what they perceived as a pervasive moral decline," ...

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