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Maurice Hilleman is largely unknown to those who have benefited from his work. Beginning in the 1950s, he developed or perfected vaccines against measles, mumps, rubella, and hepatitis B. With a Ph.D. in microbiology rather than an M.D., he opted for the private sector (read: Merck) over academia, choosing not to attach his name to his discoveries. As a result, he stayed under the public radar yet earned the respect and recognition of his peers. Here, Offit (pediatrics, Univ. of Pennsylvania; Vaccines: What You Should Know) traces the history of vaccines in what is largely a biography of Hilleman, who appears at the center of most of the stories and controversies. Offit also deals with the backlash against vaccines, describing the emotional assaults that have often rolled over the scientific evidence. While the author sheds light on an important figure in the field, drawing on his interviews with Hilleman during the last six months of his life, Arthur Allen's Vaccine: The Controversial Story of Medicine's Greatest Lifesaveroffers a more in-depth look at the history and the controversies. Recommended for public and large medical libraries.