Authors & Events
Feb 01, 1998
| ISBN 9781101199527
Feb 01, 1998 | ISBN 9781101199527
On September 14, 1989, Joseph Wesbecker entered a Louisville, Kentucky printing plant and shot twenty people with an automatic rifle before turning the gun on himself. Wesbecker had been severely depressed and was taking Prozac, and the families of the victims sued Prozac’s manufacturer, Eli Lilly, on the grounds that the popular antidepressant had caused Wesbecker’s deranged mental state. The resulting trial instigated unprecedented research into the mind of a “spree killer” — and raised provocative questions about the delicate, dangerous balance pharmaceutical companies must oversee between the public good and the bottom line. In this absorbing book, John Cornwell interweaves the Wesbecker trial with a provocative exploration of issues of identity and personality. He takes us beyond the courtroom and into the laboratories and boardrooms of the corporations who daily make life-and-death decisions concerning the public welfare. The result is a timely, compelling look at what it means and what can happen when science gives us the ability to manipulate who we are and how we behave.
John Cornwell is in the department of history and philosophy of science at Cambridge University. He is a regular feature writer at the Sunday Times (London) and the author and editor of four books on science, including Power to Harm,… More about John Cornwell
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