On Immunity

The recent discussions, debates, ad-hominems and anger around vaccinations have been very relevant to my family; we have a toddler and a newborn and these issues affect us quite directly. I was therefore quite excited to read On Immunity because I was also interested in gaining some broader context for the topic.

The book is short and eloquent. Biss has done her research - reading studies; interviewing prominent scientists; studying all arguments for and against vaccination; researching the history of vaccines. Because of her comprehension of the subject, she does not attempt to persuade through active argument, rather she explores these various faces in beautiful prose and trusts the reader to use the information as they will.

I intended to work my way through this book in a few days but ended up reading it entirely over the course of an evening. Biss’s writing is delightful - intelligent, measured, and wise yet filled with an empathy for those who approach this subject – as she did – with all the worries of new parenthood filling their heads.

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