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Arthur Allen

Arthur Allen was born in Cincinnati, educated at UC-Berkeley, and began his career as a foreign correspondent for The Associated Press in Mexico and Central America. He later worked in Europe before moving to Washington where he has written about science, medicine and health for the past 20 years. He is currently an editor and reporter at POLITICO, where he writes about health and technology.

The Best 6 Books on Arthur Allen

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Vaccine: The Controversial Story of Medicine's Greatest Lifesaver by Arthur Allen (2007-01-15)

Vaccine: The Controversial Story of Medicine's Greatest Lifesaver by Arthur Allen (2007-01-15)
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Ripe: The Search for the Perfect Tomato

The tomato. As savory as any vegetable, as sweet as its fellow fruits, the seeded succulent inspires a cult-like devotion from food lovers on all continents. The people of Ohio love the tomato so much they made tomato juice the official state beverage. An annual food festival in Spain draws thousands of participants in a 100-ton tomato fight. The inimitable, versatile tomato has conquered the cuisines of Spain and Italy, and in America, it is our most popular garden vegetable. Journalist Arthur Allen understands the spell of the tomato and is your guide in telling its dramatic story. He begins by describing in mouthwatering detail the wonder of a truly delicious tomato, then introduces the man who prospected for wild tomato genes in South America and made them available to tomato breeders. He tells the baleful story of enslaved Mexican Indians in the Florida tomato fields, the conquest of the canning tomato by the Chinese Army, and the struggle of Italian tomato producers to maintain a way of life. Allen combines reportage, archival research, and innumerable anecdotes in a lively narrative that, through the lens of today’s global market, tells a story that will resonate from greenhouse to dinner table.
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Vaccine: The Controversial Story of Medicine's Greatest Lifesaver by Arthur Allen (2008-05-17)

Vaccine: The Controversial Story of Medicine's Greatest Lifesaver by Arthur Allen (2008-05-17)
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image Arthur Allen

Vaccine: The Controversial Story of Medicine's Greatest Lifesaver

"A timely, fair-minded and crisply written account."―New York Times Book Review

Vaccine juxtaposes the stories of brilliant scientists with the industry's struggle to produce safe, effective, and profitable vaccines. It focuses on the role of military and medical authority in the introduction of vaccines and looks at why some parents have resisted this authority. Political and social intrigue have often accompanied vaccination―from the divisive introduction of smallpox inoculation in colonial Boston to the 9,000 lawsuits recently filed by parents convinced that vaccines caused their children's autism. With narrative grace and investigative journalism, Arthur Allen reveals a history illuminated by hope and shrouded by controversy, and he sheds new light on changing notions of health, risk, and the common good.
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The Fantastic Laboratory of Dr. Weigl: How Two Brave Scientists Battled Typhus and Sabotaged the Nazis

“Thought-provoking…[Allen] writes without sanctimony and never simplifies the people in his book or the moral issues his story inevitably raises." ―Wall Street Journal

Few diseases are more gruesome than typhus. Transmitted by body lice, it afflicts the dispossessed―refugees, soldiers, and ghettoized peoples―causing hallucinations, terrible headaches, boiling fever, and often death. The disease plagued the German army on the Eastern Front and left the Reich desperate for a vaccine. For this they turned to the brilliant and eccentric Polish zoologist Rudolf Weigl.

In the 1920s, Weigl had created the first typhus vaccine using a method as bold as it was dangerous for its use of living human subjects. The astonishing success of Weigl’s techniques attracted the attention and admiration of the world―giving him cover during the Nazi’s violent occupation of Lviv. His lab soon flourished as a hotbed of resistance. Weigl hired otherwise doomed mathematicians, writers, doctors, and other thinkers, protecting them from atrocity. The team engaged in a sabotage campaign by sending illegal doses of the vaccine into the Polish ghettos while shipping gallons of the weakened serum to the Wehrmacht.

Among the scientists saved by Weigl, who was a Christian, was a gifted Jewish immunologist named Ludwik Fleck. Condemned to Buchenwald and pressured to re-create the typhus vaccine under the direction of a sadistic Nazi doctor, Erwin Ding-Schuler, Fleck had to make an awful choice between his scientific ideals or the truth of his conscience. In risking his life to carry out a dramatic subterfuge to vaccinate the camp’s most endangered prisoners, Fleck performed an act of great heroism.

Drawing on extensive research and interviews with survivors, Arthur Allen tells the harrowing story of two brave scientists―a Christian and a Jew― who put their expertise to the best possible use, at the highest personal danger.

35 illustrations
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The Fantastic Laboratory of Dr. Weigl: How Two Brave Scientists Battled Typhus and Sabotaged the Nazis by Arthur Allen (2014-07-21)

The Fantastic Laboratory of Dr. Weigl: How Two Brave Scientists Battled Typhus and Sabotaged the Nazis by Arthur Allen (2014-07-21)
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