The Rise of Viagra: How the Little Blue Pill Changed Sex in America (Sociology)

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9780814752111: The Rise of Viagra: How the Little Blue Pill Changed Sex in America (Sociology)
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Since its introduction in 1998, Viagra has launched a new kind of sexual revolution. Quickly becoming one of the most sought after drugs in history, the little blue pill created a sea change within the pharmaceutical industry―from how drugs could be marketed to the types of drugs put into development―as well as the culture at large. Impotency is no longer an embarrassing male secret; now it is called “erectile dysfunction,” and is simply something to “ask your doctor” about. And over 16 million men have.

The Rise of Viagra is the first book to detail the history and the vast social implications of the Viagra phenomenon. Meika Loe argues that Viagra has changed what qualifies as normal sex in America. In the quick-fix, pill-for-everything culture that Viagra helped to create, erections can now be had by popping a pill, making sex on demand, regardless of age or infirmity, and, potentially, for the rest of one's life.

Drawing on interviews with men who take the drug, their wives, doctors and pharmacists as well as scientists and researchers in the field, this fascinating account provides an intimate history of the drug's effect on America. Loe also examines the quest for the female Viagra, the impact of the drug around the world, the introduction of new erection drugs, like Levitra and Cialis, and the rapid growth of the multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical industry.

This wide-ranging book explains how this medical breakthrough and cultural phenomenon have forever changed the meaning of sex in America.

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Review:

“The book is not a polemic but a deep and thoughtful examination of derivative problems not anticipated by Viagra’s aggressive marketers. It is especially effective when placing the campaign to promote Viagra (a trade name) in the greater context of the medicalization of modern health care.”
-Choice

“A fine piece of contemporary history. The Rise of Viagra paints a thoughtful portrait, letting the reader decide whether the Viagra phenomenon is ultimately to be celebrated or rued.”
-Katharine Greider,author of The Big Fix: How the Pharmaceutical Industry Rips Off American Consumers



“Meika Loe's core argument is that the unprecedented success of Viagra in America is not the result of an exciting scientific breakthrough bringing relief to the desperate or the dying. Rather, commercial interests have created a socially desirable but medically limited product-ironically, by denying the fundamentally social nature of sex. . . . The central argument gains pace throughout the book, becoming increasingly compelling as the ominous implications of Viagra for American society unfold.”
-The New England Journal of Medicine



“[An] engaging account and trenchant critique of the powerful blue pill. Based on extensive research, and written with clarity, grace, and wit, The Rise of Viagra chronicles an incredible intertwining of bodies, pleasures, marketing savvy, and the undying quest for the medical fix.”
-Steven Epstein,author of Impure Science: AIDS, Activism, and the Politics of Knowledge



“Meika Loe’s book tells the story of Viagra with skill and verve. She brings to that tale a sharp eye, a fine ear, and just the right degree of irony.”
-Daniel Callahan,author of What Price Better Health: Hazards of the Research Imperative

Synopsis:

Since its introduction in 1998, Viagra has launched a new kind of sexual revolution. Quickly becoming one of the most sought after drugs in history, the little blue pill created a sea change in the pharmaceutical industry - from how drugs could be marketed to the types of drugs put into development - as well as the culture at large. "The Rise of Viagra" is the first book to detail the history and the vast social implications of the Viagra phenomenon. By weaving together excerpts from interviews with Viagra users, their partners, and their doctors with a pointed analysis of the drug industry's promotional efforts and advertisements, and the countless media accounts, Loe provides a sweeping understanding of the intimate, social, and corporate effects of the drug. In the quick-fix, pill-for-everything culture that Viagra helped to create, erections can now be had by popping a pill, making it possible to have sex on demand, regardless of age or infirmity, and, potentially, for the rest of one's life.

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