Harper Academic

An Elegant Defense

The Extraordinary New Science of the Immune System: A Tale in Four Lives

by Matt Richtel

On Sale: 03/12/2019

Price: $12.99

An Elegant Defense

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An Elegant Defense

The Extraordinary New Science of the Immune System: A Tale in Four Lives

by Matt Richtel

On Sale: 03/12/2019

Format:

Price: $12.99

About the Book

A magnificently reported and soulfully crafted exploration of the human immune system–the key to health and wellness, life and death. An epic, first-of-its-kind book, entwining leading-edge scientific discovery with the intimate stories of four individual lives, by the Pulitzer Prize–winning New York Times journalist.

An Elegant Defense by Matt Richtel is one of those rare nonfiction books that transcends the genre. On one level it is a fascinating and engrossing account of the latest, and quite astonishing, discoveries involving the human immune system and how it works. But it is also a story about people facing mortality, about the passion of scientists searching for truth, and a meditation on death and how all of us struggle with the ultimate mystery. Heartfelt and moving, full of compassion, love, and the human drama, this is the work of a writer of high ethical character who is grappling with big issues and deep humanistic problems. What an inspiring and wonderful read. I highly recommend this extraordinary book.” —DOUGLAS PRESTON, #1 bestselling author of The Lost City of the Monkey God

 

Critical Praise

“One of those rare nonfiction books that transcends the genre. ... A fascinating and engrossing account of the latest, and quite astonishing, discoveries involving the human immune system. ... An inspiring and wonderful read. ... I highly recommend this extraordinary book.” - DOUGLAS PRESTON, #1 bestselling author of The Lost City of the Monkey God

“Vividly told. ... Explicates for the lay reader the intricate biology of our immune system. ... Richtel succeeds in this formidable task.” - JEROME GROOPMAN, New York Review of Books

“Deeply affecting. … A compelling modern history of—as well as an elegant defense for—the preeminent science of our time.” - Los Angeles Review of Books

“Richtel brilliantly blurs the lines between biology primer, medical historical text and the traditional first-person patient story. ... Richtel harnesses his reporter’s eye for the human condition.” - Washington Post

“A thorough, richly entertaining and just-wonky-enough beginner’s class in immunology through the case studies of four patients.” - Wall Street Journal

“Provocative. … Heart-wrenching. … Remarkable. … Richtel is a gifted storyteller. … A story about cutting-edge science, humanely told.” - Matt McCarthy, USA Today

“In this thorough investigation, Richtel details the explosion of knowledge over the past 70 years. ... He weaves into his narrative four case studies [that] add a moving personal dimension.” - BBC, “10 Books to Read This Month”

“Matt Richtel’s An Elegant Defense is a comprehensive and engaging primer on the body’s ‘ever-vigilant, omnipresent peacekeeping force.’ The immune system plays an essential role in fighting infections and cancer and in regulating our normal health. Read this superb book to better understand one of the enduring mysteries of human biology.” - SANDEEP JAUHAR, New York Times bestselling author of Heart: A History

“An expert examination of the immune system. … Richtel illuminates a complex subject so well that even physicians will learn.” - Kirkus, STARRED review

“Richtel approaches this essential subject with awe, his writing meticulous and empathic.” - Booklist, STARRED Review

“Award-winning reporter Matt Richtel examines the scientific and human realities of immune anomaly through four case studies. … Through these harrowing accounts, Richtel interweaves the research history.” - Nature, “Best Science Picks”

“A deeply reported and entertainingly written exploration of the human immune system and how it works.” - USA Today (”5 Books Not to Miss”)

“Plumbs the enormous impact of the human immune system. … Despite the topic’s staggering complexity… the heart and craft of a fine storyteller emerges most memorably.” - Mercury News

“A remarkable journey of exploration inside the human body. … Richly informative and engaging. … Eminently readable and with so many important takeaways, An Elegant Defense is well worth one’s investment of time.” - Shelf Awareness

“An engaging deep dive into our immune system.” - Men’s Health

“Richtel’s new book is so useful. ... Give[s] lay readers a means of understanding what’s known so far about the intricate biology of our immune systems.” - The Week, “Book of the Week”

“Enlightening. … Readers who suffer from challenged immune systems will welcome validation for the physical and emotional trials they endure, gain deeper understanding of their ailments, and find hope for the future. Readers who are interested in the human body’s capacity to both harm or heal itself will be fascinated.” - New York Journal of Books

“A deeply reported account of how the immune system works. … Richtel weaves dense, complex research into suspense and human drama; his book reads, at times, like a harrowing mystery novel.” - Spirituality and Health magazine

“A hard-to-put-down account of the body’s first line of defense.” - Publishers Weekly

“A sweeping overview of immunology’s history. ... The prose in An Elegant Defense is vibrant, conversational, direct and often funny. … The content is captivating and useful.” - Science News

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9780062698506
  • ISBN 10: 0062698508
  • Imprint: William Morrow
  • On Sale: 03/12/2019
  • Pages: 448
  • List Price: $12.99
  • BISAC1 : SCIENCE / Life Sciences / Biology
  • BISAC2 : HEALTH & FITNESS / Diseases / Immune & Autoimmune
  • BISAC3 : SCIENCE / History