PositiveThe Wall Street JournalIn Influenza, [Brown] builds effectively on his clinical and scientific career, making the virus itself central to his story ... Although his story is a somber one, Dr. Brown’s account is punctuated by some humor and much avuncular advice ... he offers engaging descriptions of influenza treatments then and now ... Dr. Brown provides the better overview of the subject [compared with Catharine Arnold\'s Pandemic 1918, weaving history and contemporary virology and clinical practice together ... [Influenza] reminds us how much the world has changed...that influenza is still a real and present threat and demonstrates the power and limitations of modern medicine.
PositiveThe Wall Street Journal\"The stories of a few of these victims (and some survivors) are central to Ms. Arnold’s Pandemic 1918. She is good at looking at civilians as well as troops and their nurses and doctors and at teasing out the human side of the catastrophe ... Ms. Arnold, a British popular historian, uses... contemporary scientific activity to round out her account, but her center of gravity is the original pandemic, whose final toll can never be known. Her stories, many taken from previous historical works but also from newspaper accounts and archival material, make good reading. There are, however, a few signs of haste: She once relocates Fort Riley to Texas; the historian Alfred Crosby, author of a pioneering study of the pandemic, is once dubbed Albert; the British public health doctor J.A. Turner becomes \'Turned\'; and quinine, often used in influenza cases in 1918, is confidently described as no longer being recommended then for treating malaria, though it certainly was. These and other slips mar her account but do not negate the powerful stories of ordinary people—children, brides, farmers, soldiers, nurses, doctors—that form the heart of her book.\
MixedThe Wall Street JournalWe live in a world of risk and risk assessment. The trouble is that if you or your child happens to experience a one-in-a-million event, a remote possibility becomes a certainty. That’s good when it’s the lottery, bad when it’s a disease. Many people also increasingly distrust the \'experts\' who are judging risk, especially when it comes to a child’s well-being ... Michael Kinch has spent his career studying vaccines, but he has sympathy for these parents. In Between Hope and Fear: A History of Vaccines and Human Immunity, he acknowledges the risk—real, if slight—that any vaccination might produce unwanted consequences, and he writes of several disastrous episodes ... This is a fine book, marred only by a few factual slips.