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How the Immune System Works (How It Works) (2nd Edition) 2nd Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 65 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0632047024
ISBN-10: 063204702X
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise from the previous edition:

"This is the book that every student (regardless of level) should read as he or she begins to study immunology."
-- Daniel G. Tenen, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School Member, Harvard Medical School Program in Immunology

On the first edition:

"...it covers each section of the immune system in the form of 'lectures' in which the author talks to you from the book as though he were in the same room.

A MUST-BUY for anyone having problems understanding the immune system (and, lets face it, who doesn't)?"

Barts and the London Chronicle

"...this brief overview of immunology is superb."

Guy's Gazette, Guy's Hospital, Medical & Dental Schools


"I feel that Dr Sompayrac has contributed a worthy book which I personally have enjoyed reading, and I feel it will serve as an ideal introduction to the principles of immunology for students of either a medical or scientific background."

Southampton Health Journal

"...makes a difficult subject like immunology much easier to understand. A fantastic introduction to basic immunology."

2nd Opinion, The Magazine of the Scottish Medical Schools

From the Back Cover

Blackwell now offers the 2nd edition of How the Immune System Works. Written in the same offbeat "lecture-style" you’re familiar with, this new edition provides a perfect introduction to the essential principles of the human immune system, covered in 9 humorous, but highly informative, "lectures." Perfect as an exam-prep review or an enjoyable overview of a difficult subject.

New features to this edition:


  • Extensive updates on the pathophysiology of immunology
  • Over 20 new or updated figures outlining key concepts
  • Thought questions designed to simulate classroom discussion
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell; 2 edition (December 23, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 063204702X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0632047024
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 0.3 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #723,794 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is an excellent introduction to immunology that is very well written, clearly presented, and readable. Authors of the standard, and generally much longer, intro texts could probably learn a lot about how to improve their own works by reading this. While the artwork does not compare to the icon-laden figures on practically every page of Janeway and other books, the illustrations are nevertheless well done and not as distracting (ie when something is presented as an illustration, it is there for a reason beyond making the book look flashy). While the depth of coverage is not as extensive as in Janeway and most other intro texts, this is by design, as it is truly an introduction to the subject. As a basic introduction to the field of immunology, or as supplementary reading for an intro course, this book is highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback
I love this book. I am a second year medical student and I wish that more of our books were writen like this. The thing that I most like about this book and Dr.Sompayrac's writing style is that he explains WHY the immune system components work the way they do and shows how the structure of say IgM dictates its function and why it would be the first antibody on the scene of an infection. For me, it makes it so much easier to remember all of the details if I have information like that. The book also reads really well and is interesting. The tone is very conversational and not textbooky which I also like. If you are taking immuno I would highly recommend this book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As an immunology graduate student, I had taken multiple courses in immunology before encountering this text. Having now read it, I sincerely believe that it would have been an excellent primer for any of the courses that I have taken. It provides easily-understandable explanations of the major concepts and themes in the complex subject of immunology, while easily allowing for integration of more complex material into the general framework established in the chapters of this text. Further, it also serves as a good review of the major concepts and is a quick, enjoyable read for both the lay person and for those with a more in-depth knowledge of immunity and the immune system.
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Format: Paperback
Immunolgy is usually a very intimidating topic for medical students. This is because it is hard to teach it to students with different backgrounds in biology. Also most immunology textbooks are encyclopedic and full of details.

I am the kind of person who likes to get a very simple general introduction to the topic i am studying before i get into the details. I searched high and low for review articles or books that are thin yet offer a complete review. I stumbled on how THE IMMUNE SYSTEM WORKS and I read it in a few days. I love this book and still go back and read it every once in a while to brush up and review.

You will still need a textbook (janeway is great to complement this book) to ace your immunology course and fill in the gaps. But after you read this book everything will become clear. The closest thing to this book is an immunology review series that was run in the New England Journal of Medicine (highly recommended too).

I want to warn people that studying the immune system is not a trivial task. The field is very interdisplinary and requires a solid foundation in genetics and molecular cell biology. If you find that this text is hard to follow then I think you should really try to brush up on certain topics in genetic and molecular biology first. It really does not get easier and cleared than this book.

How the immune system works is very informal, funny, and informative. Lauren tries to teach the immune system like a story and succeeds at doing so. You will never get borred of this reading.
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Format: Paperback
This book was fantastic!! As a medical graduate beginning a specialization in haematology I needed to get a grip on immunology which just seemed a mass of confusing cytokines, and this book did it. Now at least I have the fundamentals straight. I HIGHLY recommend it to anyone who feels that all their immunolgy concepts are murky. It is simple but deals with cutting edge concepts.
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Format: Paperback
A week before my immunology final, I had finally had it with trying to understand the whole conceptual basis of the immune system from my lecture notes and Parham's "The Immune System." Both were great at giving me a detailed, granular understanding of mechanisms of each interaction, but I needed a higher-level overview of why the mechanisms were appropriate, how they interacted, and which component would respond to each class of threat.
Sompayrac's book is witty, fun reading. It isn't overly simplified, and will require some effort if you're a complete beginner to the field; but if you're a student, it's an invaluable resource to supplement your textbook. You can get the detailed description from the textbook; but from reading this, you'll understand why the mechanism is important.
My main regret is that I didn't think of searching for this book and buying it at the beginning of my class instead of a week before the final.
FWIW, I supplemented the Parham book with this one, and also the High-Yield Immunology book to give a detailed outline. I received an A-; I think if I had gotten both at the start, it would have been an A.
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