Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Autism's False Prophets: Bad Science, Risky Medicine, and the Search for a Cure Paperback – March 29, 2010
Elsevier Sales & Deals
Save up to 50% on textbooks, study guides & resources for your medical specialty.
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Every child has a right to be vaccinated against deadly diseases. We started Every Child By Two to protect children from diseases. It didn't occur to me that I would also have to protect them from misinformation about life-saving vaccines. Paul A. Offit's book sets the facts straight.(Rosalynn Carter, former first lady, cofounder of Every Child By Two)
Autism's False Prophets is a compelling story of heartbroken parents, understandably desperate for an explanation of autism, being taken in by false hopes unsupported by genuine science. This book goes to the heart of a question that affects every aspect of American culture and political life. Are public policies to be determined by evidence and reason or by emotions that, however intense they may be, have nothing to do with reality?(Susan Jacoby, author of The Age of American Unreason)
A definitive analysis of a dangerous and unnecessary controversy that has put the lives of children at risk. Paul A. Offit shows how bad science can take hold of the public consciousness and lead to personal decisions that endanger the health of small children. Every parent who has doubts about the wisdom of vaccinating their kids should read this book.(Peter C. Doherty, Ph.D., St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital and Nobel Laureate in Medicine for fundamental contributions in Immunology)
In his latest book Paul A. Offit unfolds the story of autism, infectious diseases, and immunization that has captivated our attention for the last decade. His lively account explores the intersection of science, special interests, and personal courage. It is provocative reading for anyone whose life has been touched by the challenge of autism spectrum disorders.(Susan K. Klein, MD, Ph.D., Case Western Reserve Hospital, and Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital, Case Medical Center)
[A] thoughtful and readable study.(Library Journal (starred review))
Enlightening, highly readable and... timely.(Rahul K. Parikh, M.D. Salon.com)
Arguably the most courageous and most knowledgeable scientist about vaccines in the United States.(Robert Goldberg New York Post)
[Dr. Offit] has done a huge public service by exposing the tragic and dangerous place the anti-vaccine hysteria has taken us.(Huntly Collins Philadelphia Inquirer)
An invaluable chronicle that relates some of the many ways in which the vulnerabilities of anxious parents have been exploited.(Linda Seebach Wall Street Journal)
A good read and an important piece of work.(Lisa Jo Rudy About.com)
More than a book about a disease, it is an ode to uncorrupted science and a cautionary tale that data alone is never enough.(SEED magazine)
[Offit] provides important insight into the fatal flaws of the key arguments of vaccine alarmists.(Buffalo News)
A very good read.(Dom Giordano The Bulletin)
A sobering indictment.(Isabelle Rapin, M.D. Neurology Today)
A fascinating read... Eloquently and clearly written.(Stan L. Block, MD Infectious Diseases in Children)
A very helpful book for both medical personnel and parents.(The New England Journal of Medicine)
The book is a fantastic read. I recommend it to all physicians and their patients and families.(Brian Alverson, MD Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine)
This is a powerful book which should be read by all professionals working in the area ofmedicine.(Michael Fitzgerald Social History of Medicine)
Paul A. Offit is one of the most respected scientists and clinicians in a field of vital importance to public health.(Patricia M. Rodier BioScience)
[This] book doesn't just show that the anti-vaccine activists are wrong; it attempts to explain why, in our culture, they tend to win.(Jason Fagone Philadelphia Magazine)
Detailed but easily readable... should be required reading for any parents who are considering denying vaccination to their children.(Communication: The Magazine of the National Autistic Society)
Arguably the most detailed and thorough history available of the current anti-vaccine movement.(Roy Richard Grinker Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders)
[A] must-read... it will keep pediatricians and pediatric neurologists awake over the nightmarish possibilities of pseudoscience in the 21st century.(Roger A. Brumback, M.D. Journal of Child Neurology)
The vast range of professionals who may be enriched, professionally, by the book's contents extends to: psychologists, psychiatrists, neurologists, neuroscientists, speech pathologists, pediatricians, primary care physicians, geneticists, virologists, immunologists, vaccine experts, nurses, infectious disease experts, internists, gastroenterologists, epidemiologists, public health professionals, special education teachers, bioethicists, biochemists, biologists, biostatisticians, endocrinologists, pharmacists, pharmacologists, pharmaceutical industry professionals, health policy makers, journalists, politicians, and trial lawyers.(Leo Uzych Metapsychology)
Seeking to help readers realize the truth about Autism, Autism's False Prophets is a much need read, not to be missed.(Midwest Book Review)
Top Customer Reviews
Despite what others have said, the book didn't read like a "smear-fest." The closest it comes to that is the use of the word "quackery" in one place. What Dr. Offit has done is provide a well-referenced historical account of the activities of a sub-group of the autism community in the last decade.
If you are someone who tries to keep reasonably up to date with the political going-ons of the autism world, you might be thinking, "I won't learn much from this book." But you'd be wrong. There are many interesting tidbits of information you probably haven't heard of before; such as David Kirby's interaction with Curtis Allen of the CDC (page 151). There's also a lengthy discussion of the meetings and thinking that led to the decision to remove thimerosal from pediatric vaccines.
Perhaps there is some information the book is missing. For example, you won't find a discussion of Dan Olmsted's negligence in his Amish reporting. More could've been said of JB Handley's bullying tactics and his failed prophecies ("autistic children will be cured within 2 years"). There's no mention of John Best, a fringe but prominent member of the anti-vax movement.
This is understandable, though. A book is insufficient to air all the dirty laundry of the anti-vaxers. You'd need a whole encyclopedia for that.
That's right...because there is an angry mob on her side, the consensus of scientists that attended real schools and obtained real master and doctorate degrees in things like epidemiology and medicine, is wrong.
Dr. Offit faces a very challenging opponent and he did it with an exceptionally calm and rationale analysis of vaccines, why they are safe and more importantly, why the quacks and anti-vaxxers are wrong. And he did it in a style that is very readable by the lay person.
When Dr. Offit starts laying out damning facts against the anti-vaxxers, you will be left agape. For example, Dr. Wakefield took $800,000 from a plaintiff's attorney and used it to fund his studies and never disclosed where the funding came from, he never obtained informed consent and when he ran his studies past IRBs, they were anything but medically qualified. Just astounding. Of course, the results of his studies have never been duplicated and any physiological basis for his hypothesis has been debunked.
Yet, there are people who flock to Dr. Wakefield and give him lots of money for unproven and dubious-at-best treatments and cures. Very, very sad.
Dr. Offit also discusses how science is perceived in society. A lot of people simply don't "believe in" science and how science is done. Dr. Offit analyzes this later in the book and it is hardly comforting.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Really hits to the heart of the matter and uses logic reason and fact to show why people fall for pseudoscience and how it takes a toll on public health. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amy G. Crittenden
This was recommended to me at the behest of a friend who knew I had found some disturbing findings with my research in genetics and issues with metal excretion- which brought my... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Juan Delgado
This book does not stick to the title. Pretty much the whole thing is to protest anti vaxers which is stupid and disappointing that it was given that title. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Victoria Weinhandl
Read this book before you read all the other books about unproven treatments.Published 5 months ago by Lavahut
Fear mongering and twisted facts. Waste of my money. Written by a man paid off by the pharmacuticals industry.Published 7 months ago by Kindle Customer
Superbly written so that a lay reader can understand this complex topic.Published 7 months ago by Elaine L. Orr
Important reading! The anti-vaccine movement has movie stars and discredited doctors. Read the truth from Offit and follow the money.Published 10 months ago by mini mous
(NaturalNews) He's one of the mainstream media's darling vaccine fanatics, but Paul Offit of Philadelphia Children's Hospital is an unabashed liar and fraud. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Amazon Customer
Perhaps I should have known from the title, but this book is nothing more than a discussion of the supposed autism-vaccine link. Which is fine, if that's what you wanted. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Nissa