Summary: In this fantastic example of journalistic research, Wadman wrote about the crippling effects of various diseases, especially of birth defects. Diseases covered included rubella, polio, rabies, chicken pox, measles and hepatitis A. She then described the scientific efforts put forth to find vaccines for these diseases, as well as political roadblocks and legal/moral failings of some of the scientists.
My thoughts: I really enjoyed this book. It was well-researched and interesting. I didn’t realize what kinds of political roadblocks were present in the development of vaccines. She mostly avoided the topic of vaccine deniers and the misconception that vaccines cause autism. That’s probably for the best, because the book was already rather long. However, I do feel that the story is a tiny bit incomplete without covering it a little bit. Despite this omission, I loved this book and understand why it was on the Wellcome Book Prize shortlist.