Books, Journals, New Media Section Editor: Harriet
S. Meyer, MD, Contributing Editor, JAMA; David H. Morse, MS, University
of Southern California, Norris Medical Library, Journal Review Editor.
This biography of Charles and Margaret Best by their son, Henry B. M.
Best, is their personal story, told for the first time. Except for one chapter
of 51 pages on the discovery of insulin, the nearly 500 remaining pages comprise
a detailed account of the travels and exciting social events in the fascinating
fairy-tale life and times of Charles and Margaret Best. Such a life was made
possible by Best's fortuitous association with Frederick Grant Banting. What
began as a part-time summer research job for a student turned into one of
the most exciting and controversial medical adventures of modern times. Readers
interested in the scientific details of the discovery and the stepwise progression,
detours, failures, and breakthroughs in the isolation, purification, and commercial
production of insulin should read The Discovery of Insulin by Michael Bliss (1982) or my short review.1
Rosenfeld L. Charles Best. JAMA. 2004;291(15):1903-1904. doi:10.1001/jama.291.15.1903