No Magic Bullet: A Social History of Venereal Disease in the United States since 1880

By Allan M. Brandt | Go to book overview

V
Dr. Ehrlich's Magic Bullet:
Venereal Disease in the Age of Antibiotics

1

At the height of Thomas Parran's campaign against syphilis in 1940, Warner Bros. produced a feature film celebrating Paul Ehrlich's chemotherapeutic breakthrough of 1910 -- the discovery of Salvarsan. Dr. Ehrlich's Magic Bullet starred Edward G. Robinson in the lead role, toiling against the hypocrisy of his time to advance medical progress. Ehrlich's prediction of the discovery of specific chemotherapeutic agents for specific diseases -- "magic bullets" to root out and destroy infecting organisms -- was the promise of modern medicine. Indeed, the so-called biomedical model of disease and treatment, upon which most twentieth-century therapeutics are based, stems from Ehrlich's initial discovery. Penicillin, discovered to be effective in treating syphilis and gonorrhea in 1943, seemed to be the answer to the search for a magic bullet. Unfortunately, however, the promise of the magic bullet has never been fulfilled. The control of many infectious diseases through antibiotics revealed a whole new set of systemic, chronic diseases, unresponsive to these drugs. Moreover, many infectious diseases, especially viral infections, still cannot be treated effectively. 1 And finally, even those infections that respond to antibiotics are still prevalent. Today, venereal diseases persist in epidemic proportions in spite of antibiotics. Effective against certain microorganisms, the magic bullets cannot combat the social and cultural determinants of these infections.


2

As World War II loomed on the horizon, the American military relied on traditional means of prevention and treatment for the venereal diseases. Penicillin was not to become widely available in the military until 1944. Instead of depending on therapeutics, anti-venereal programs developed during mobilization were closely modeled on those instituted during World War I. In early 1940 a joint meeting of the military medical services, the Public Health Service, and

-161-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
No Magic Bullet: A Social History of Venereal Disease in the United States since 1880
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 266

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.