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Vaccine: The Controversial Story of Medicine's Greatest Lifesaver 1st Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
This book should be a must-read for parents before they decide NOT to inoculate their children. The book notes there are pockets within communities of highly educated (and very, shall we say, freethinking) parents who don't vaccinate their kids. The chapter titled "People Who Prefer Whooping Cough" tells the intriguing story of a Waldorf School (this one in Boulder, Co.) which maintains that children should become very ill in order to develop into spiritually whole human beings. Public health officials have been tracing many whooping cough outbreaks to this school in Boulder, and cases were showing up more and more in nearby cities like Golden, Colorado Springs and Fort Collins.
Also of interest is the chapter that examines vaccines and whether there is a link to the recent `epidemic' of autism. This book can be a valuable resource for families looking for a comprehensive history of the issue.
Arthur Allen has exhaustively researched and dissected his subject matter, as his 50 pages of footnotes show. His narrative, conversational tone and his skill at weaving the pieces of the story together help make this a highly readable, informative book despite its inherent complexities.
I picked this book up because I wanted an opinion that was neither from the medical nor the anti-vaccine establishments... And I was not disappointed. Allen writes a balanced, interesting, easy-to-read examination of vaccines from their conception to now, with many of the successes AND failures along the way.
What I appreciated most about the book is that unlike much of the vaccine "information" you will find on the internet, when he claims a point, he backs it up with the reference (52 pages of them in fact) in case you doubt it. He is thorough in his investigation and gives equal "airtime" to both sides of the issue. His conclusions are transparent and well justified.
As mentioned in other reviews, the book is split into historical and more current chapters. After reading the first historical chapter, I skipped to the last one and ended up reading the book backwards. I don't think I lost anything that way. So feel free to pick and choose from the chapters as your interests change.
Balanced, reliable information on vaccines that I think any parent with questions should review... He debunks a lot of myths with great credibility. I learned a lot.
Other good books out there can also help readers understand this issue including the following one that Mr. Allen praised:
Your Baby's Best Shot: Why Vaccines Are Safe and Save Lives
"In telling the story of vaccination, this book makes an assessment that is as fair as I can make it, based on the available evidence. I [the author] am neither a scientist nor someone with personal experience of a severe vaccine reaction [vaccines carry some measure of risk to the patient]...This book deals with preventive vaccines [that produce an artificial immunity] against infectious diseases [smallpox, polio, measles, whooping cough, etc.)...a vaccine's success as a public health measure relies on three legs of support: (1) the public, which must be confident of the safety and worth of the procedure; (2) manufactures, who seek to generate profits by making vaccines; and (3) government and public-health [workers] who...[help] further population-wide health goals. As [the reader] will see throughout this book, none of these legs is entirely stable."
The above is found in the introduction of this well-researched, easy-to-read book by writer Arthur Allen. Be aware that the author also says in the introduction the following: "I do...bring personal agendas to this book." The book itself is divided into three parts.
In the first two parts, Allen describes the history of the development of vaccines in a time when there were no clinical ethics boards or informed consent laws, the defeat of such infectious diseases as smallpox & polio, and public resistance to widespread vaccination. There's a lot here to disturb both proponents and opponents of mandatory vaccination.
The author devotes the third and last part of his book to the vaccine controversies of the last few decades. I found that this relatively brief analysis was not well connected to the first two parts.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It has been some time since I read it. I think I will read it again. He gives you a good understanding of vaccine without being biased.Published 16 months ago by Michael D Johnson
Arthur Allen provides a highly accurate history of vaccinations. He doesn't mince words yet conveys the world of diseases honestly. Read morePublished on November 4, 2013 by Jeanine R. Whitney
Great price for thr book. Ordered it for a paper I was doing. It's interesting in thr beginning but becomes a bit of a drag towards the middle..Published on December 5, 2012 by shereen
Boring and poorly written , Could get a better reading from Wikipedia. the stories are nagged forever and takes a great deal of time to get to the point. Read morePublished on June 1, 2010 by Malinowski
Arthur Allen freely admits that he is biased in writing this book, calling himself a "vaccine obsessive" and claims that a doctor saved his life from an infection as a child, so he... Read morePublished on August 19, 2009 by W.G. Whitney
This author is just another vaccine hack who has no evidence to support his theories and presents nothing but his own opinions that frankly have no credibility. Read morePublished on February 12, 2009 by J
In approaching this book, I was hoping for an examination of both the medical and cultural history of vaccines, and I was not disappointed. Read morePublished on April 22, 2008 by CJ
Personally, I thought this book was about a 4-star, but I decided to give it 5 to somewhat counteract all the 1-star reviews by anti-vax nutjobs. Read morePublished on March 10, 2008 by Chad M. Estep