Skip to Main Content (Press Enter) Toggle side nav
Anti-vaxxers by Jonathan M. Berman
Add Anti-vaxxers to bookshelf
Add to Bookshelf


Best Seller
Anti-vaxxers by Jonathan M. Berman
Paperback $19.95
Sep 08, 2020 | ISBN 9780262539326

Buy from Other Retailers:

See All Formats (1) +
  • Sep 08, 2020 | ISBN 9780262539326

    Buy from Other Retailers:

  • Sep 08, 2020 | ISBN 9780262359559

    Buy from Other Retailers:

Product Details


“Science professor Berman debuts with a useful guide for readers concerned about the opposition to vaccinations . . . The book’s greatest value comes from its insights into how common cognitive errors can lead even the well-informed to see false correlations between vaccination and health problems. Berman also provides practical suggestions about how best to engage, and potentially convert, vaccine opponents, arguing that ‘people change their own minds; we can’t do it for them.’ Given hopes for a Covid-19 vaccine, this accomplished exploration of a vexing topic couldn’t be more timely.”
Publishers Weekly

“Recommended for those countering the anti-vaccination movement, as well as those with an interest in cultural and historical antecedents of the movement.”
Library Jounal

“Berman dispels anti-vax fears and subterfuges with straight, scientific evidence.”
Kirkus Reviews

“A clear and insightful book.”
Financial Times

Anti-vaxxers is a book that reminds us of the historical precedents to the odd alliances—anti-vaccine, anti-mask, anti-5G, for instance—that are getting in the way of public health right now . . . By taking the story of vaccine opposition back to its earliest examples, Anti-vaxxers cautions against simplistic solutions. In tracing the movement across three centuries, Berman underlines that is unlikely to be ended by keyboard warriors or the repetition of even the best scientific evidence.”

“Berman, an assistant professor of basic science at an osteopathic medical school, explores the history of anti-vaccine movements and how best to counter them. Such movements, he finds, share beliefs and features: wariness of government control, distrust of the medical establishment and its products, false claims about vaccines (often made by people with economic interests), and unfounded fears of harm, spread by misinformation and social media. Those most vulnerable to such claims are often parents trying to decide what is best for their children’s health. Rather than learning from reliable sources why childhood vaccines are necessary to protect both individuals and the population as a whole from infections, they may receive unreliable information from others in their community who oppose vaccination . . . Berman’s advice on how to talk with people who are uncertain about vaccinating their children is enlightening and practical.”
Washington Post Book World

“This accessible and informative book provides not only a rational analysis of the many sources of anti-vaccine thinking, but also practical ideas that can be used to overcome objections against vaccines.”

“Written by one of the founders of the ‘March for Science’ movement, Anti-vaxxers is a tour-de-force examination of anti-vax arguments that is destined to become a classic in the field. Before you get into another argument with an anti-vaxxer, simply pull this book off the shelf, hand it to them, and say ‘here.’”
Lee McIntyre, Research Fellow, Center for Philosophy and History of Science, Boston University; author of Post-Truth and The Scientific Attitude

“In Anti-Vaxxers, Jonathan Berman reveals the strategies, influence, and psychology of a movement that the World Health Organization has called one of the top ten threats to global health. An urgent and engaging read.”
—Paul A. Offit, Professor of Pediatrics, the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia; author of Overkill: When Modern Medicine Goes Too Far

Table Of Contents

Preface vii Introduction xiii
1 Is There Even a Problem? 1
2 Understanding Vaccines 9
3 The World before Vaccines 13
4 The First Vaccine 19
5 The First Anti-vaccine Movements 29
6 Vaccine Pioneers 45
7 The Twentieth-century Anti-vaccine Movement 49
8 Autism 63
9 The Anti-vaccine Movement, 1998–Present 69 10 Vaxxed 87
11 Too Many, Too Soon 97
12 Deadly Immunity 107
13 Ineffective “Alternatives” to Vaccination 115
14 Social Media, “Fake News,” and the Spread of
Information 135
15 Escalation of Commitment 151
16 Religion and Vaccine Hesitancy 155
17 Big Pharma 165
18 Anti-vaccine Activism in 2018 and 2019 179
19 Vaccine Advocates 187
20 Who Are They? 197
21 The Anti-vaccine Parent 201
22 What Changes Minds about Vaccines? 205
Conclusions 211
Acknowledgments 215
Notes 217
Index 273

Looking for More Great Reads?
21 Books You’ve Been Meaning to Read
Get the latest updates from Jonathan M. Berman
And go from well-read to best read with book recs, deals and more in your inbox every week.
And go from well-read to best read with book recs, deals and more in your inbox every week.
By clicking SIGN UP, I acknowledge that I have read and agree to Penguin Random House’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.
Something awesome is on its way.
Back to Top