On Immunity: An Inoculation

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A New York Times Best Seller
A National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist
A New York Times Book Review Top 10 Book of the Year
A Facebook "Year of Books" Selection

One of the Best Books of the Year
* National Book Critics Circle Award finalist * The New York Times Book Review (Top 10) * Entertainment Weekly (Top 10) * New York Magazine (Top 10)* Chicago Tribune (Top 10) * Publishers Weekly (Top 10) * Time Out New York (Top 10) * Los Angeles Times * Kirkus * Booklist * NPR's Science Friday * Newsday * Slate * Refinery 29 * And many more...

Why do we fear vaccines? A provocative examination by Eula Biss, the author of Notes from No Man's Land, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award

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.

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About the author

Eula Biss is the author of Notes from No Man's Land, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for criticism, and The Balloonists. Her essays have appeared in the Believer and Harper's Magazine. She teaches at Northwestern University and lives in Chicago, Illinois.

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Reviews

4.1
20 total
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Additional Information

Publisher
Graywolf Press
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Published on
Sep 30, 2014
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Pages
216
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ISBN
9781555973278
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Personal Memoirs
Social Science / Disease & Health Issues
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Eula Biss
Sheri Fink
Anne Fadiman
Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction

When three-month-old Lia Lee Arrived at the county hospital emergency room in Merced, California, a chain of events was set in motion from which neither she nor her parents nor her doctors would ever recover. Lia's parents, Foua and Nao Kao, were part of a large Hmong community in Merced, refugees from the CIA-run "Quiet War" in Laos. The Hmong, traditionally a close-knit and fiercely people, have been less amenable to assimilation than most immigrants, adhering steadfastly to the rituals and beliefs of their ancestors. Lia's pediatricians, Neil Ernst and his wife, Peggy Philip, cleaved just as strongly to another tradition: that of Western medicine. When Lia Lee Entered the American medical system, diagnosed as an epileptic, her story became a tragic case history of cultural miscommunication.

Parents and doctors both wanted the best for Lia, but their ideas about the causes of her illness and its treatment could hardly have been more different. The Hmong see illness aand healing as spiritual matters linked to virtually everything in the universe, while medical community marks a division between body and soul, and concerns itself almost exclusively with the former. Lia's doctors ascribed her seizures to the misfiring of her cerebral neurons; her parents called her illness, qaug dab peg--the spirit catches you and you fall down--and ascribed it to the wandering of her soul. The doctors prescribed anticonvulsants; her parents preferred animal sacrifices.

尤拉・畢斯(Eula Biss)
沒有人可以忍受自己的小孩受到傷害,

問題是我們不知道這是在傷害他,或是在保護他……

 

比爾.蓋茲:「這本書是獻給新手父母最棒的禮物!」

 

祖克伯「臉書讀書會」(A Year of Books)引爆討論熱潮

比爾.蓋茲部落格(gatesnotes)專文鄭重推薦

 

【國內外眾多好評推薦】

比爾.蓋茲2015年夏季推薦書單

比爾.蓋茲2015TED大會推薦書單

榮登《紐約時報》暢銷書榜

入圍美國國家書評獎

入選《紐約時報》十大年度好書

入選《出版人週刊》每週選書

《芝加哥論壇報》、《出版人週刊》、《洛杉磯時報》、科克斯書評等各大媒體熱烈推薦

台灣健康服務協會理事長/中研院生醫所兼任研究員 何美鄉 好評推薦

 

「為什麼祖克伯、比爾.蓋茲都不約而同選擇推薦這本書?」

疫苗該不該打已經成為全球熱議的話題,

這本書是我們在醫學、社會和心理層面的最佳引導。

 

在成為母親之前,她從來沒有想過自己會展開這樣一場探索之旅,

對寶寶的愛、潛意識裡的恐懼、意識形態的作祟……

面對盤根錯節的掙扎,她該如何做出不後悔的決定?

 

醒來、睡著、吸奶和哭泣,她筆記本裡的含糊註記全是關於她的寶寶;她也擔心枕頭和毯子可能害他窒息,牆上的含鉛油漆和飲水中的六價鉻可能害他生病──但一個母親需要擔心的事情遠多於這些,尤其棘手的是,該不該讓自己的寶寶打疫苗?

 

她從兒子出生前幾個月開始糾結於這個問題,她參與其他母親們的討論、請教專家,也埋頭研讀文獻,試圖釐清自己及群眾對疫苗的恐懼到底從何而來,又會對社會全體造成什麼影響。這複雜難解的迷宮她一走就是五年,也因而有了這本書的誕生……

 

這本書探討了

※疫苗問題重重的起源如何讓它代表侵犯、腐化和污染的形象深埋人心。

※疫苗中微量化學物質的威脅,究竟有無科學根據,抑或只是現代人對環境毒物的焦慮感的投射。

※醫療體系中,重視專業權威的父權主義與病患至上的消費主義,信任如何成為緩解對立的解答。

※當一個群體中的大多數人都接種疫苗,那麼少數未接種疫苗的人也會受惠、不易染病。問題是,誰該是那些少數?

※疫苗究竟是獲利至上的商品,還是拯救人命的道德工具?世界衛生組織的流感警報、政府的接種政策難道只是資本主義的騙局?

 

為了保護深愛的寶寶,有些疫苗,是不是不打比較好?

為了對抗恐怖的流行病,父母應該怎麼面對疫苗背後的風險?

Eula Biss
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