On Immunity: An Inoculation
by Eula Biss
narrated by Tamara Marston
HighBridge Audio, 2014
6 hours and 23 minutes
"Immunity is a shared space - a garden we tend together."
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.
Biss offers a concise overview on the topic of immunization. I particularly appreciated her inclusion of the history/evolution of public health. However, this book is probably not meant for a reader with my background. As a pharmacist and mother of three, I found it interesting, but was hoping for more hard information and science. Still, I enjoyed the author's voice and approach.
Most people already have strong views on the subject and I doubt this book will change any minds. Yet, we truly are each others environment.