A Brief Book Review
As a mix of biography and science history, Vaccinated: One Man’s Quest to Defeat the World’s Deadliest Diseases* is an intriguing account of the development of vaccines centered around the one man who gave the world a chance to fight against some of the most devastating diseases. Maurice Hilleman grew up in the farming communities in Montana and later became one of the lead researchers for the pharmaceutical giant Merck who developed vaccines for measles, mumps, rubella, hepatitis B, and others. However, Paul Offit doesn’t merely recount Hilleman’s life events and achievements. Offit also manages to skillfully weave the history and prior research that supported Hilleman’s experiments as well as the further developments and controversy that surrounded his vaccines. Vaccinated is an informative and humanistic look into one of the more practical aspects of disease prevention. It gives a whole new meaning to vaccines than being merely a shot in the arm.
*I received this book as an ARC, but even if I hadn’t, I would still recommend it. I would especially recommend this to biomedical students who do nothing but memorize textbooks. Sure, complain all you like about having no time for pleasure reading, but you can’t call yourself well rounded if all you know are mechanisms and experimental methods.