Cold War Resistance


Cold War Resistance

The International Struggle over Antibiotics

Marc Landas

368 pages


October 2020


$39.95 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

October 2020


$39.95 Add to Cart
eBook (EPUB)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

October 2020


$39.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

In June 1941 a pair of British scientists boarded a plane for America with World War II raging all around them. They carried a precious commodity—penicillin—and the knowledge that it would change history. Once the U.S. government had been debriefed, the Office of Science Research and Development, in conjunction with British counterparts, assumed control, and penicillin became a top-secret matter of national security, second in importance only to the atomic bomb.

In Cold War Resistance Marc Landas uncovers the dark history behind the discovery, production, and distribution of penicillin and other antibiotics. In 1949 the United States embargoed any material deemed of “strategic importance,” including antibiotics, from going to Communist countries, effectively shutting off the Soviet Union from a modern medical miracle. The Soviets responded by creating satellite antibiotic factories in Warsaw Pact countries that produced subpar antibiotics, which soon led to antibiotic resistance.

Today, the number of effective antibiotics available is dwindling, and the state of antibiotic resistance is worsening. The Cold War played a critical role in fostering this resistance, as Landas argues in this pathbreaking history of the international struggle over antibiotics.

Author Bio

Marc Landas is an editor at Scientific Inquirer and freelance writer. He is the author of The Fallen: A True Story of American POWs and Japanese Wartime Atrocities.


"Medicine may have a few qualities of an art, but the field is still a science. Nevertheless, there are historical exceptions to the standardization of treatment and access to pharmaceutical drugs all over the world. Throughout the new book Cold War Resistance: The International Struggle over Antibiotics, Marc Landas demonstrates how antibiotics are a prime example of this phenomenon."—Nicholas Greyson Ward, Los Angeles Review of Books

Table of Contents

Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15

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