"An important book. As Michael Kinch tells us in Between Hope and Fear, vaccinations have saved millions, possibly billions, of lives. Along with antisepsis and anesthesia, they rank as one of the greatest achievements of scientific medicine. It is therefore deeply disturbing that in recent decades a significant minority of people in the world’s wealthier countries has become opposed to them. If even a small number of parents decide not to have their child vaccinated because of an alleged (and usually spurious) risk from the vaccine, they are putting enormous numbers of children at risk of contracting the disease the vaccine protects against…. Kinch has done early scientists a great service by recounting their contributions. There are some fascinating episodes about the discovery and use of bacteriophages (viruses that attack bacteria) and the way in which they might become important again as antibiotic resistance is increasingly a problem."
– The New York Times Book Review
"The immune system is notoriously complex, and Mr. Kinch offers a masterly exposition of the evolution and operation of our defense against disease-causing microorganisms. The author skillfully weaves historical figures into his narrative, with a good eye for largely forgotten players. Mr. Kinch’s volume ought to be read by parents and policy makers alike, and its message heeded by all."
– Wall Street Journal
"A terrific book—insightful, authoritative, and endlessly absorbing."
– Bill Bryson, New York Times bestselling author of A Walk in the Woods and A Short History of Nearly Everything
"The story of smallpox—its malignity and humanity’s triumph over it—is told in Michael Kinch’s Between Hope and Fear. Kinch is profoundly alarmed by our collective amnesia."
– New York Review of Books
"Kinch’s argument in favor of reason and science over fear and charlatanism is cogent and well-researched, presenting a large-scale chronological narrative of disease and prevention."
– Publishers Weekly
"A comprehensive history of the science of vaccination. Readers of this admirable account will thrill to stories of the conquest of historical plagues and research into preventing today's deadly infections. A riveting chronicle of one of the greatest accomplishments in the history of medical science."
– Kirkus Reviews
"An interdisciplinary cornucopia of meticulously researched information on the intersection of history, disease, and vaccine invention. Recommended for scientists and medical professionals but also for readers curious about the history of disease and our efforts at understanding and prevention."
– Library Journal
"A cogent and comprehensive view of where the drug industry is today and how it got there."
– Health Affairs
"Provides a brilliant, revealing, commonsense, and well-written answer to a timely and essential question."
– Dr. Richard N. Foster, Chair, Presidents' Circle, National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine
"Well explained and illustrated with useful anecdotes."
– Science Magazine