More Chocolate Pudding, Dear?
Pulitzer Prize winning author's newest work The Poisoner's Handbook presents a fascinating picture of early 20th Century New York City, the rise of forensic science, and the various ways New Yorkers found to do away with themselves and others.
It also reveals that the United States Government intentionally poisoned its citizens rather than let the "noble experiment" of Prohibition fail. There was an arms race of sorts between government chemists to poison alcohol and chemists employed by the bootleggers to clean it up (somewhat). The author discussed this further on her website during an NPR interview.
Other Subjects by the Author
Blum has written a number of other books exploring other little known aspects of science including Ghost Hunters: Williams James and the Search for Scientific Proof of Life After Death and Love at Goon Park: Harry Harlow and the Science of Affection.
For those seeking more information about Prohibition and its varied affects I'd recommend Prohibition: Thirteen Years that Changed America and Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition. Any similarities to current crusades against drugs and tobacco are purely coincidental . . . right?
Joe Toschik is a Public Services Librarian at the Half Moon Bay Library.