Cover

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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication, Quotes

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Contents

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pp. vii-viii

List of Illustrations and Tables

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pp. ix-xii

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Preface

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pp. xiii-xiv

From the day I began this project, I have been asked why we needed yet another study of Louis Pasteur. His career had already been fully described so many times, beginning with the standard two-volume biography by his son-in-law, Rene Vallery-Radot, published in French in 1900 and translated into English a year later ...

I. Background and Context

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pp. 1-2

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1. Laboratory Notebooks and the Private Science of Louis Pasteur

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pp. 3-21

In 1878, when he was fifty-five years old and already a French national hero, Louis Pasteur told his family never to show anyone his private laboratory notebooks.1 For most of a century those instructions were honored Pasteur's notebooks—like the rest of the manuscripts he left behind at his death in 1895—remained in the hands of his immediate family and descendants until 1964. ...

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2. Pasteur in Brief

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pp. 22-50

Pasteur sprang from humble roots. For centuries his ancestors lived and worked as agricultural laborers, tenant farmers, and then modest tradesmen in the Franche-Comte, on the eastern border of France. The shift from agriculture to trade came five generations before Louis was born. ...

II. From Crystals to Life

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pp. 51-52

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3. The Emergence of a Scientist: The Discovery of Optical Isomers in the Tartrates

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pp. 53-89

In April 1848 the streets of Paris still echoed with the shock waves set off by the revolutionary "February days," during which King Louis Philippe had abdicated and a provisional republican government had been formed. Among those who played a minor role in defense of the new provisional government was a twenty-five-year-old chemist named Louis Pasteur. ...

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4. From Crystals to Life: Optical Activity, Fermentation, and Life

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pp. 90-109

On 3 August 1857, three years after he had been named professor of chemistry and dean of the newly established Faculty of Sciences at Lille, Pasteur delivered a now famous paper on the lactic fermentation to the Societe des sciences, d'agriculture, et des arts de Lille.1 This paper announced a major shift in Pasteur's research interests—a shift, briefly put, from crystallography to fermentation. ...

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5. Creating Life in Nineteenth-Century France: Science, Politics, and Religion in the Pasteur-Pouchet Debate over Spontaneous Generation

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pp. 110-142

On the evening of 7 April 1864, Pasteur took the stage at the large amphitheater of the Sorbonne to give a wide-ranging public lecture on spontaneous generation and its religio-philosophical implications.1 It was the second in a glittering new series of "scientific soirees" at the Sorbonne, and tout Paris was there, including the writers Alexandre Dumas and George Sand, ...

III. Vaccines, Ethics, and Scientific vs. Medical Mentalities: Anthrax and Rabies

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pp. 143-144

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6. The Secret of Pouilly-le-Fort: Competition and Deception in the Race for the Anthrax Vaccine

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pp. 145-176

On the afternoon of Thursday, 2 June 1881, Pasteur stepped off a train in Melun, 40 kilometers southeast of Paris. Escorted by his three leading collaborators and various dignitaries, he made his way to the nearby commune of Pouilly-le-Fort and to the large farm of Hippolyte Rossignol, a local veterinary surgeon. ...

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7. From Boyhood Encounter to "Private Patients": Pasteur and Rabies before the Vaccine

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pp. 177-205

On 18 October 1831 a lone but menacing wolf left its natural habitat in the wooded foothills of the Jura mountains in eastern France and descended upon several nearby communities, attacking and biting everything in its path. The focus of its rampage was the village of Villers-Farlay, where eight of its human victims eventually died of rabies, ...

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8. Public Triumphs and Forgotten Critics: The Debate over Pasteur's Early Use of Rabies Vaccines in Human Cases

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pp. 206-233

On Monday, 6 July 1885, three frightened and unexpected visitors made their way to Pasteur's laboratory at 45 rue d'Ulm in Paris. They had come to Paris by train from a village in Alsace, where two days before, on 4 July, two of them had been attacked by a dog displaying all the classic signs of rabies. ...

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9. Private Doubts and Ethical Dilemmas: Pasteur, Roux, and the Early Human Trials of Pasteur's Rabies Vaccine

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pp. 234-256

One day in the mid-1880s, the "independent" research of Pasteur and his leading collaborator on rabies, Emile Roux, came too close for comfort. On that day, or so we are told by Pasteur's nephew and research assistant Adnen Loir, he prepared some cultures of the swine fever microbe, working as always under Pasteur's watchful eye, and carried them to a laboratory stove. ...

IV. The Pastorian Myth

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pp. 257-258

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10. The Myth of Pasteur

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pp. 259-278

Death came to Pasteur in the late afternoon of Saturday, 28 September 1895, at the age of 72, in a simple bedroom at Villeneuve l'Etang, near Garches, an annex of the Institut Pasteur roughly a dozen kilometers northeast of Pans. Pasteur had presumably received the last rites of the Catholic Church from a priest of the Dominican order. ...

Appendixes

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pp. 279-304

Author's Note on Notes and Sources

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pp. 305-308

Notes to the Chapters

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pp. 309-342

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Acknowledgments

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pp. 343-344

This book owes much to a few funding agencies, several institutions, and a host of individuals, many of whom I shall, alas, be unable to acknowledge. Early on, a generous grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities allowed me to spend an academic year in Pans, just as the Papiers Pasteur at the Bibliotheque National were becoming generally available to scholars. ...

Bibliography

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pp. 345-366

Index

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pp. 367-378

Images

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