September 1933

Modern Alchemy.

Author Affiliations

By W. A. Noyes and W. A. Noyes, Jr. Cloth. Price, Pp. 197. Springfield, Ill.: Charles C. Thomas, 1932.

Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1933;52(3):495. doi:10.1001/archinte.1933.00160030156017

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Under this alluring title the authors discuss in a brief but entertaining manner the miracles of modern chemistry and medicine. The philosopher's stone was, to be sure, a hoax, but true science has forced from nature not only grander but more picturesque secrets than Cagliostro ever dreamed of. This, in a word, is the authors' thesis — perhaps a little platitudinous — and the metaphor does seem strained when in the final chapter, entitled "The Elixir of Life," one finds brief remarks on the processes of disease, immunity, hormones and the like. The reviewer resents a little the implied slight to the alchemists, since they, after all, only represented art, which should not be compared with or criticized in terms of science; leaving aside, however, these considerations, the book is really an excellent exposition in simple terms of important problems of "natural philosophy" in connection with which developments have been

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