Vaccine: The Controversial Story of Medicine's Greatest Lifesaver

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W. W. Norton, 2008 - Medical - 523 pages
24 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  - Ross Mckinney - Goodreads

I had to read this for a course I'm teaching on bioethics and epidemics. It's a good book and an interesting story, but it could have been more. At times, there's more attention to the what happened ... Read full review

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

User Review  - Ananth Bhandari - Goodreads

good Read full review

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About the author (2008)

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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