The Elements of Murder : A History of Poison: A History of Poison
How can a chemical we need on a daily basis to keep us healthy be fatal at a different dose? Why should elements that are intrinsically dangerous be used in medicine? How did poisoners use the chemical properties of chemicals to cover their tracks? Emsley gives detailed histories of five of the most toxic elements - arsenic, antimony, lead, mercury, and thallium, highlighting some of the most famous murders and how the murderers used the chemical properties of elements to hide what they were doing. He shows how the elements have been behind many modern day environmental catastrophes including accidental mass poisonings from lead and arsenic, and the Minamata Bay Disaster in Japan. The array of fascinating stories shows how chemicals have impacted the lives of people ranging from the Greeks and Romans to Newton, Napoleon, Lucrezia Borgia, Mozart, Nelson Mandela, and Saddam Hussein. Emsley also touches on subjects close to home: cot deaths, laxatives, venereal disease, alleged cures for acne, hangovers, and insanity.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - JKoetsier - LibraryThing
Although the subject is very interesting, and the anecdotes are lovely, the book does not read very well. A lot of facts are presented in a way that is not always very organized. But, overall, a very interesting book! Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - GavinBowtell - LibraryThing
This book was promising. My advice would be to read the introduction which is well written and interesting and ignore the rest of it. Everything that followed the introduction was of such a poor ... Read full review