Stone, you are right on the money when it comes to Offit's biography on Maurice R. Hilleman. http://www.milescity.com/...tid=4418#1
I just recently finished it and it is one good read.
Paul A. Offit. Vaccinated : One Man's Quest To Defeat The World's Deadliest Diseases
I cannot understand why the heck Hilleman was never awarded a Nobel Prize . . . I mean Holy Cows! The man literally saved tens of millions of lives through the vaccines he discovered - his research and vaccines are still saying lives at this very minute. It's more than probable I'd have never survived childhood if it weren't for Hilleman's work.
And I'm not alone in thinking the man was something extraordinary:
"If I had to name a person who has done more for the benefit of human health, with less recognition than anyone else, it would be Maurice Hilleman. Maurice should be recognized as the most successful vaccinologist in history.
--Dr. Robert Gallo, director of the Institute of Human Virology, at the University of Maryland School of Medicine; and co-discoverer of the AIDS virus
"Dr. Hilleman is one of the true giants of science, medicine and public health in the 20th century. One can say without hyperbole that Maurice has changed the world.
--Anthony Fauci, former director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
"Much of modern preventive medicine is based on Dr. Hilleman's work, though he never received the public recognition of Salk, Sabin or Pasteur. He is credited with having developed more human and animal vaccines than any other scientist, helping to extend human life expectancy and improving the economies of many countries.
--Lawrence K Altman, The New York Times
Anyway - if you want to read the life story of a Miles City boy who went out into the world and did some good . . . Offit's book is worth picking up.
= = = = = = = = = = =
Moving on . . . .
Carlos Dávila - you are the Man!
I recently finished Carlos's PhD dissertation on Father Eli W. J. Lindesmith tenure as post chaplain at Fort Keogh.
Carlos Eduardo Dávila. "The Mustard Seed In Montana: Father Eli W. J. Lindesmith And The Spirit Of Order And Progress In The American West, 1880-1891
I'm hoping that when the time is right Carlos will publish his manuscript - this is a work that needs to be on library shelves not just in Montana, but across the country.
Far from being a simple examination of Lindesmith's time in Montana, it is an examination of the American frontier and settlement experience that is of national relevance in understanding the development of this country in the 19th century. Carlos managed to use Lindesmith's time at Fort Keogh and in Milestown as the means to show how this one man's experiences mirrored the cultural forces that shaped the development of the American West. And while that is no small feat in its own right, he did so with rock solid scholarship, and as importantly his work is written in an engaging and accessible style.
= = = = = = = = = = =
Finally . . . I'm nearly finished with 1491
. . . one of the more thought provoking works I've read in years.
Charles C. Mann. 1491: New Revelations Of The Americas Before Columbus
It is a summary of recent scholarship, discoveries, and theories on the status of Native American culture and civilization prior to the arrival of Europeans. I thought I had been keeping fairly current on the topic - in layman's terms anyway. But jeez . . . have I fallen behind.
I am just astounded at how much has been learned in recent years . . . and I am even more astounded at what they are discovering about the complexity and richness of Native culture and civilization prior to the arrival of Europeans. Even if some of the current theories prove to be somewhat exaggerated (as new theories often are) - it is staggering how much we've underestimated and underappreciated pre-Columbian Native Americans.
If you can approach Mann's summary of what's new and exciting in the field of pre-Columbian studies with an open and inquiring mind - then you'll likely find this to be a great read. If you aren't comfortable with exploring new ideas - then I'd say give it a pass.
Two older works that would excellent companion pieces to 1491
William Cronon. Changes In The Land: Indians, Colonists, And The Ecology Of New England
Stephen J. Pyne. Fire In America: A Cultural History Of Wildland And Rural Fire
Cronon and Pyne both touch on some of the topics explored by Mann, both challenge us to rethink what we are sure we know and both provide the opportunity to stretch the mind by thinking in new directions.