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Publisher's Summary

Upon becoming a new mother, Eula Biss addresses a chronic condition of fear - fear of the government, the medical establishment, and what is in your child's air, food, mattress, medicine, and vaccines. She finds that you cannot immunize your child, or yourself, from the world.
In this bold, fascinating book, Biss investigates the metaphors and myths surrounding our conception of immunity and its implications for the individual and the social body. As she hears more and more fears about vaccines, Biss researches what they mean for her own child, her immediate community, America, and the world, both historically and in the present moment. She extends a conversation with other mothers to meditations on Voltaire's Candide, Bram Stoker's Dracula, Rachel Carson's Silent Spring, Susan Sontag's AIDS and Its Metaphors, and beyond. On Immunity is a moving account of how we are all interconnected - our bodies and our fates.
©2014 Eula Biss. (P)2014 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Debbie on 10-13-14

More than I Expected

Would you listen to On Immunity again? Why?

I did actually listen to most of it twice, in 24 hours. It's a very-well woven story and it's easy to forget it's non-fiction and in what one might think would be a "heavy" genre. I did learn a lot and will forever think of vaccines differently. Much more than a personal choice.

What does Tamara Marston bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

She fits the writing and narrates with that flow that makes one forget it's not the author telling her tale.

Any additional comments?

This book reads a lot like a journal, a bit like mythology, a bit like philosophy... and it is a fresh take on a topic not often covered. It is never over-the-top on density. It is easy to understand without any "talking down" to the reader. Much more than I expected for what possibly does not sound like a fascinating topic. Excellent writing. Impressive detail attention to providing sources. Clearly well-researched yet presented in a captivating "story" style.

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25 of 28 people found this review helpful

By Rosemary A Cook on 01-02-15

Amazing survey of attitudes

One of the most perplexing issues in healthcare today is the widespread resistance to vaccines. Those of us who grew up in the polio era find this attitude incomprehensible. Ms Biss surveys the history of vaccines, presents pros and cons and provides an unassailable reason to consent to them: the public good.

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27 of 33 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By clive on 03-07-15

thought provoking and personal essay on immunisation

Any additional comments?

This is an essay about, and a history of, immunisation. It sounds dry but it really isn't. The author is American and a new mother and brings concerns that I'm not sure are as prevalent in the UK but is very even handed and thoughtful, referencing history and literature and other essayists, notably Susan Sontag. The NY Times rated it in their top 10 for 2014 and I can see why. Highly recommended.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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