The Controversial Story of Medicine's Greatest Lifesaver
W. W. Norton
On Sale: January 15, 2007
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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 controversyâ€”from 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
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