Vaccine: The Controversial Story of Medicine's Greatest Lifesaver

Front Cover
W. W. Norton, 2008 - Medical - 523 pages
18 Reviews
"A timely, fair-minded and crisply written account."--New York Times Book Review

Vaccine juxtaposes the stories of brilliant scientists with the industry's struggle to produce safe, effective, and profitable vaccines. It focuses on the role of military and medical authority in the introduction of vaccines and looks at why some parents have resisted this authority. Political and social intrigue have often accompanied vaccination--from the divisive introduction of smallpox inoculation in colonial Boston to the 9,000 lawsuits recently filed by parents convinced that vaccines caused their children's autism. With narrative grace and investigative journalism, Arthur Allen reveals a history illuminated by hope and shrouded by controversy, and he sheds new light on changing notions of health, risk, and the common good.

"Arthur Allen adroitly chronicles the development of the polio vaccine and many others, describing the science and serendipity behind each breakthrough and breathing life into the researchers who achieved them."--Henry I. Miller, Wall Street Journal

"Allen's comprehensive, often unexpected and intelligently told history illuminates the complexity of ... public health policy."--Publishers Weekly

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Review: Vaccine: The Controversial Story of Medicine's Greatest Lifesaver

User Review  - Sara McDonald - Goodreads

This was an excellent book for presenting the long history of vaccine development and controversy. It is probably the most comprehensive book I've read on the subject, covering everything from the ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - HadriantheBlind - LibraryThing

Good overview of the history of this medicinal procedure, and the misguided intentions both for and against it. Read full review

About the author (2008)

Arthur Allen has written for the NewYork Times Magazine, the Washington Post,The Atlantic, the Associated Press, Science,and Slate. His books include Vaccine: The Controversial Story of Medicine's Greatest Lifesaver. He lives in Washington, DC.

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