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An Epidemic of Absence: A New Way of Understanding Allergies and Autoimmune Diseases Paperback – 17 Sep 2013

4.8 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 397 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner Book Company; Reprint edition (17 Sept. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439199396
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439199398
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 3 x 21.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 133,736 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

""An Epidemic of Absence" explores recent research into the causes of human immune system malfunction against a background of evolution and human history. This book is a fascinating read for lay-persons, and it will even excite the very laboratory scientists whom it quotes by providing additional insights into the broader significance of their work. Ground-breaking and ambitious, "An Epidemic of Absence" should also be compulsory reading for all medical students."

--Graham A. W. Rook, professor of immunology at UCL (University College London)

"Modern medicine gave us antibiotics and hygiene, which saved untold lives. But it also altered the intimate balance between our bodies and their residents--the viruses, bacteria, fungi, and worms that infected our ancestors for millions of years. "An Epidemic of Absence" is an absorbing, impressively researched look at the result of this medical revolution: a global disruption of immune systems."

-Carl Zimmer, author of "Parasite Rex" and "A Planet of Viruses"

"A brilliant and important book that will change the way you think about illness, medicine, genetics, and even evolution. Modern living has vanquished many serious health challenges, but also created many new ones. Moises Velasquez-Manoff forces us to confront the very personal ramifications of biological interdependence. Humans will never stand apart from our ecology. The sooner we realize that, and embrace it, the better off we'll all be."

- David Shenk, author, "The Genius in All of Us: New Insights into Genetics, Talent, and IQ"

"Remarkable...Moises Velasquez-Manoff draws together hundreds of studies to craft a powerful narrative carrying a fascinating argument."

"A reportorial journey into a frontier of science and health."

About the Author

Moises Velasquez-Manoff covered science and the environment for The Christian Science Monitor, and his work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The Chicago Tribune, and Slate, among other publications. He graduated from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism's Master of Arts program, with a concentration in science writing.


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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book really helped pull together my own understanding of the link between microbe -> man and -> the immune system, and the way that this complex but vital relationship has evolved over the course of human history. I really recommend this book if you want to understand our current predicament (at least, in more affluent societies) of rampant auto-immune dysfunction. If you leave out trauma, certain infections and some types of cancer, pretty much everything else the doctor sees in their daily practice life has some direct or indirect relationship with a disturbed immune system.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a very much needed book giving details of how our war on the world of microscopic (and sometimes macroscopic) life has hijacked our health; and the insanity of not respecting our biological relationships with the rest of life on this planet. I have only given 4 stars because of the authors cavalier dismissal of the work of Andrew Wakefield. In his Lancet article Dr Wakefield never stated that the MMR causes autism, as the author (and everyone else) declares. He is not a neurologist but a gastroenterologist, and he simply stated that he had found the Measles vaccine virus in the guts of nine autistic children. No one could refute this finding, so they chose to malign his character instead, by alleging misappropriation of funds. This he denies, but he cannot afford to defend himself in court. Since then his findings have been supported by other research, including that done by the prestigious CDC -- although their findings were buried until one of their own lead scientists, Dr William Thomson, turned whistleblower. Even today this blatant fraud is not being exposed by the world's media -- I wonder why? The fact remains that vaccines schedules, in which immune immature babies are being exposed to multiple organisms or bits of organisms through the direct route of injection rather than through the mucous membrane, taps right into the author's thesis of derangement in our immune systems producing allergies and autoimmunity. This is beside the toxic levels of mercury or aluminium that accompany vaccines, and what these may be doing to our microbiota. Perhaps if the author ever considers an update of this book he could apply his forensic abilities to research this important topic?
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is an excellent well written book for anyone with allergic or autoimmune disease. Written with the scepticism of a scientist and not with a hidden agenda of someone trying to sell a miracle cure. It addresses all the complex issues surrounding the onset and potential causes of living with chronic illness and what, if anything can be considered in the future.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is suitable for a wide readership. If you are simply interested in your health and the health of you family, or if you are a medical student, researcher or doctor then you will find the book a stimulating and eye opening read. Any of the terms used are explained in the back of the book and if you want more details then there are hundreds of useful journal references. An Epidemic Of Absence explains that the massive rise in autism and autoimmune diseases is due to the changes we have made both in our environment and also the ecosystems that exist within in. The book does not advocate a return to the dark ages when we had no understanding of germs, but that we need to stop thinking of all bacteria, virus's and parasites as enemies that have to be erradicated, and that a balanced peaceful coexistance with many of them is essential to our health.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is incredible. It has totally blown my mind and changed the way I view the human organism. You need to read this book
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By Jess on 11 Nov. 2012
Format: Hardcover
I found this book to be both extremely well researched and hard to put down. It was so exciting to find out what I would learn next. I highly recommend this book to everyone, but especially anyone thinking of having children as it highlights how lifestyle before, after and during pregnancy can contribute to allergies in children.
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