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January 1960

The Life of Sir Alexander Fleming.

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1960;105(1):169-170. doi:10.1001/archinte.1960.00270130185023

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Four years ago Andre Maurois accepted the second Lady Fleming's invitation to write the story of her husband's life. To gain insight into the man and his work, he not only read everything he could about Alexander Fleming and talked to men and women who had known him but even took a course in bacteriology at the Pasteur Institute.

The story of Sir Alexander Fleming is the story of penicillin. But it is more than that. It is the chronicle of a perceptive, sensitive but independent and tough-minded man. Perhaps most important of all, Maurois has caught the spirit of Fleming's attitudes toward research. Over and over, Fleming's life emphasizes what Pasteur realized—how the prepared mind sees what the unprepared mind merely looks at. Fleming understood the value of learning from mistakes and from the unanticipated. He knew that following their paths is often more profitable than pursuing the question

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