Vaccine: The Controversial Story of Medicine's Greatest Lifesaver

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W. W. Norton & Company, 2007 - Medical - 523 pages
2 Reviews
A fascinating account of vaccination's miraculous, inflammatory past and its uncertain future.

In 1796, as smallpox ravaged Europe, Edward Jenner injected a child with a benign version of the disease, then exposed the child to the deadly virus itself. The boy proved resistant to smallpox, and Jenner's risky experiment produced the earliest vaccination. In this deftly written account, journalist Arthur Allen reveals a history of vaccination that is both illuminated with hope and shrouded by controversyfrom Jenner's discovery to Pasteur's vaccines for rabies and cholera, to those that safeguarded the children of the twentieth century, and finally to the tumult currently surrounding vaccination.

Faced with threats from anthrax to AIDS, we are a vulnerable population and can no longer depend on vaccines; numerous studies have linked childhood vaccination with various neurological disorders, and our pharmaceutical companies are more attracted to the profits of treatment than to the prevention of disease. With narrative grace and investigative journalism, Allen explores our shifting understanding of vaccination since its creation. 16 pages of illustrations.
 

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Vaccine: the controversial story of medicine's greatest lifesaver

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Vaccines fighting this season's flu strain, cervical cancer, shingles, and childhood inner-ear infections have hit the news, while medical researchers, funded by Gates Foundation dollars, labor ... Read full review

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A delightful and readable review of the main issues facing vaccination today. Speaks to valid criticism, but also does not pander to fearmongering. Allen gives an even-handed overview of the topic at hand, highlighting the successes and failures of the history of vaccination and where work still needs to be done. An interesting read that will be convincing to anyone but the a priori convinced. 

Contents

I
11
II
23
IV
25
V
46
VI
70
VII
113
IX
115
X
160
XIV
251
XV
294
XVI
327
XVII
371
XVIII
421
XIX
443
XX
445
XXI
499

XI
215
XII
249

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About the author (2007)

Arthur Allen has written for the New York 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, where he writes about health for Politico.

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