Medicine: Fleming on Penicillin

Is penicillin a drug or an argument? Doctors have been awed and appalled by a gusher of argumentative books and reports claiming that 1) penicillin will cure almost anything; 2) its victories have been only temporary because the bugs are fighting back. Out this week came still another. This one was authoritative: it was written by penicillin's discoverer, Sir Alexander Fleming, and a group of British colleagues (Penicillin: Its Practical Application; the Blakiston Co.; $7). The book wraps up in one well-documented package just about everything worth knowing about the wonder drug....

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