Allergyby Mark Jackson
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Charts the evolving perception of allergy, from a rare and non-fatal condition one hundred years ago to a widespread, potentially fatal, and lucrative clinical specialism today
"The book provides a perceptive insight into the historical development of allergy, indicating how thinking changes. It gives fascinating vignettes of key researchers involved in the history of allergy and contains some interesting anecdotes about their lives. . . . Jackson’s succinct and clearly written book is aimed at the informed lay reader. He admirably avoids using jargon and scientific terminology, and gives fascinating insight into the rise in allergic diseases and how this is linked to our modern lifestyle. I recommend this book, which helps us to understand the relationship between health and the environment, and explains why modern living can be detrimental to our health."
Peter J. Barnes
"Meticulously researched and written, and of undoubted value."
"Meticulously researched. . . . Jackson's fascinating study is undoubtedly an important contribution to the social history of medicine."
"He makes a convincing argument that to look on his subject in a straightforward way will not do, and it's impossible to understand allergy without placing it in the context of modern medicine. . . . Excellent account."
"As you snuffle through the next pollen season, you might be consoled by reading this fascinating book."
"Wide ranging work. . . . Jackson illustrates his arguments with delightful reference to the culture and popular media of the day. . . . This book is a remarkable scholarly work that should serve as an exemplar of its genre."
"Jackson is at his most alert on the recent history, real and metaphorical. This is as much a book about the modern imagination as about suffering. . . . Allergy, as Jackson demonstrates, is both a medical reality and a cultural phantasm."
"A splendid book. . . . Conventional historians of immunology and bedside medicine may read Allergy with blinkers and find much sound scholarship, but it deserves a wider audience."
"Social histories like this one provide a needed corrective to the reconstructions offered from the benefit of scientific hindsight. . . Jackson has provided a rich example of how allergy has undergone shifted meaning—scientific and social—as well as illustrating Western health care practices of the last century."
Alfred I. Tauber
J. Matthew Sleeth
"An important book because Jackson achieves a goal broadly shared, but infrequently realised, by current historians of medicine: to integrate biological and cultural events and to synchronise scientific change and social forces in a perceptive analysis. . . . a fine book."
Meet the Author
Mark Jackson is professor of the history of medicine and director for the Centre for Medical History at the University of Exeter. He is the author of several books, including The New-Born Child Murder and The Borderland of Imbecility.
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