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Owning the Sun

Audiobook
Nonfiction
Unabridged   10 hour(s)
Publication date: 03/15/2022

NEW! Now Available

Owning the Sun

A People's History of Monopoly Medicine from Aspirin to COVID-19 Vaccines

Available from major retailers or BUY FROM AMAZON
Digital Download ISBN:9781696607537

Summary

An authoritative look at monopoly medicine, from the dawn of patents through the race for COVID-19 vaccines and how the privatization of public science has prioritized profits over people.

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Product Description

Owning the Sun tells the story of one of the most contentious fights in human history: the legal right to control the production of lifesaving medicines. Medical science began as a discipline geared toward the betterment of all human life, but the merging of research with intellectual property and the rise of the pharmaceutical industry warped and eventually undermined its ethical foundations. Why does the US government fund the development of medical science in the name of the public, only to relinquish exclusive rights to drug companies, and how does such a system impoverish us, weaken our responses to global crises, and, as in the case of AIDS and COVID-19, put the world at risk?

Outlining how generations of public health and science advocates have attempted to hold the line against Big Pharma and their allies in government, Alexander Zaitchik's first-in-kind history documents the rise of medical monopoly in the United States and its subsequent globalization. From the controversial arrival of patent-wielding German drug firms in the late nineteenth century, to present-day coordination between industry and philanthropic organizations—including the influential Gates Foundation—that stymie international efforts to vaccinate the world against COVID-19, Owning the Sun tells one of the most important and least understood histories of our time.

Reviews/Praise

"Part history lesson on intellectual property and part damning critique . . . Zaitchik’s book is highly informative and deeply troubling reading." —Library Journal

"A brave and timely reminder . . . A trenchant study of the dangers of turning medical knowledge into private intellectual property." —Kirkus Reviews

"Journalist Zaitchik (The Gilded Rage) takes readers through the labyrinthine history of medical patents in this expansive study . . . Zaitchik covers a remarkable amount of ground and never gets lost in the weeds. The result is comprehensive and illuminating." —Publishers Weekly

Author Bio

Alexander Zaitchik is a freelance journalist. His writing has appeared in the Nation, the New Republic, the Intercept, the Guardian, Rolling Stone, Foreign Policy, VICE, and the Baffler, among many other publications. Owning the Sun is his third book. He lives in New Orleans.