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Books, Journals, New Media
April 21, 2004

Charles Best

Author Affiliations

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.

JAMA. 2004;291(15):1903-1904. doi:10.1001/jama.291.15.1903

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

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