On Immunity: An Inoculation

Eula Biss. Graywolf (FSG, dist.), $24 (216p) ISBN 978-1-55597-689-7
Biss (Notes from No Man’s Land) advocates eloquently for childhood immunization, making her case as an anxious new mother intent on protecting her son—and understanding the consequences. Her exploration is both historical and emotional, and she receives some metaphorical guidance from Bram Stoker’s Dracula, a story that to Biss invites an “enduring question—do we believe vaccination to be more monstrous than disease?” Her son’s birth coincided with an outbreak of the H1N1 flu (popularly known as “swine flu”), triggering an inquiry that involved her doctor father, other mothers, researchers, and her own copious research. Biss’s study ranges from the beginnings of vaccination—a “precursor to modern medicine”—in the 1700s, through Andrew Wakefield’s disastrous, and later retracted, 1998 study that proposed the MMR vaccine might be linked to autism. Protecting her baby set off an “intuitive toxicology,” Biss writes, but grew to understand that we harbor “more microorganisms in our guts than we have cells in our bodies.” She comes down hard on Robert Sears, author of The Vaccine Book, which suggests an alternate shots schedule, for his “equivocal” conclusions, and defends oft-criticized pediatrician Paul Offit for his research and integrity. Biss frankly and optimistically looks at our “unkempt” world and our shared mission to protect one another. Agent: Matt McGowan, Frances Goldin Literary Agency. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 07/07/2014
Release date: 09/30/2014
Show other formats
FORMATS
Ebook - 216 pages - 978-1-55597-327-8
Compact Disc - 345 pages - 978-1-62231-497-3
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.