A History of Immunology


  • Arthur Silverstein, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA

Written by an immunologist, this book traces the concept of immunity from ancient times up to the present day, examining how changing concepts and technologies have affected the course of the science. It shows how the personalities of scientists and even political and social factors influenced both theory and practice in the field. With fascinating stories of scientific disputes and shifting scientific trends, each chapter examines an important facet of this discipline that has been so central to the development of modern biomedicine. With its biographical dictionary of important scientists and its lists of significant discoveries and books, this volume will provide the most complete historical reference in the field.
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Immunologists, molecular biologists, hematologists, historians of medicine and of science, individuals working in infectious disease


Book information

  • Published: June 2009
  • ISBN: 978-0-12-370586-0


"Energetic and overwhelmingly successful... The book is presented in a consistent and captivating style which will surely find its reward in a wide readership consisting of students and professionals engaged in diverse disciplines." --MOLECULAR IMMUNOLOGY "This is as delightful book." --PATHOLOGY "This work can be recommended with great enthusiasm. Its targeted audience is everyone." --HUMAN PATHOLOGY "This History of Immunology is highly recommended to all immunologists; it also can be put to excellent use as an uncommonly lucid introductory Immunology text for medical students and graduate students in immunology." --Carel J. Van Oss in IMMUNOLOGICAL INVESTIGATIONS "[A] fascinating history. I recommend this volume highly to any physician or scientist with more than a casual interest in immunology and in the way our modern principles and applications evolved. It is described on the book jacket as a professional, intellectual history. I would go further to say that it is well crafted, and well written -- a pleasure to read." --JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION "He has written this book with young research workers in mind, to inform them of all the research that has gone into the study of immunology since the introduction of inoculation as a prophylactic measure in the first decades of the 18th century. The book is particularly strong on the controversies that raged over the respective merits of cellular and humoral immunity." --JOURNAL OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY OF MEDICINE "Arthur Silverstein's A History of Immunology is sure to be the standard in the field upon which future efforts will be based... A comprehensive overview of the development of the major concepts of the discipline that is both descriptive and analytical... It is a fine piece of scholarship for all to enjoy and will undoubtedly form an indispensable starting point for future scholars who wish to examine the development of knowledge about the phenomenon of the immune response." --Dexter Howard in ACADEMIC MEDICINE "He has written each chapter to be self-sufficient and truly succeeds in this attempt... The appendices are invaluable... This book provides a broad background of the discipline of immunology which the reader can easily supplement with recent textbooks." --OHIO JOURNAL OF SCIENCE "Silverstein managed to write a scientific book that is interesting, entertaining, and educating alike." --EXPERIMENTAL AND CLINICAL IMMUNOGENETICS

Table of Contents

List of PhotosForeword: On History and Historians Preface to the Second EditionPreface to the First EditionPART ONE: INTELLECTUAL HISTORY1. Theories of Acquired Immunity2. Cellular vs. Humoral Immunity 3. Theories of Antibody Formation4. The Generation of Diversity: The Germline/Somatic Mutation Debate5. The Clonal Selection Theory Challenged: The Immunological Self6. The Concept of Immunologic Specificity 7. Specificity Continued8. Horror Autotoxicus: The Concept of Autoimmunity 9. Allergy and Immunopathology: The "Price" of Immunity10. Anti-Antibodies and Anti-Idiotypic Immunoregulation: 1899-1904 11. Transplantation and Immunogenetics PART TWO: SOCIAL HISTORY12. Magic Bullets and Poisoned Arrows: The Uses of Antibodies13. The Royal Experiment: 1721-2214. The Languages of Immunologic Dispute15. The Search for Cell-Bound Antibodies. On the Influence of Dogma 16. Natural' Antibodies and 'Virgin' Lymphocytes: The Importance of Context17. The Dynamics of Conceptual Change in Immunology18. Immunology in Transition 1951-1972: The Role of International Meetings and Discipline Leaders19. The Origin of Subdisciplines: (Ocular Immunology; Pediatric Immunology; Immunophysiology)20. Immune Hemolysis: On the Heuristic Value of an Experimental System21. Darwinism and Immunology: from Metchnikoff to Burnet22. The End of Immunology?Appendix A1. The Calendar of Immunologic ProgressAppendix A2. Seminal DiscoveriesAppendix A3. Important Books in Immunology, 1892 - 1968 Appendix B. Nobel Prize Highlights in ImmunologyAppendix C. Biographical Dictionary