THE BODY AT WAR: The Miracle of the Immune System by

THE BODY AT WAR: The Miracle of the Immune System

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First-rate, engrossing instruction on how the body defends itself against disease, from a knowledgeable practitioner and investigator. Dwyer, head of the School of Medicine at Australia's Univ. of New South Wales, sets out the scientific basics of this intricate subject in clear, enlightening terms, and supports it with a wealth of experiences from his years of practice. Dwyer is excited by his subject, and he deftly passes that on to readers: ""I want to show you the excitement that is immunology, the future that is immunology, and make you familiar with that complex but approachable system in whose integrity rests the body's ability to fight so much disease."" And he never oversimplifies or condescends to his readers, offering plenty of illustrative case histories to help keep the theoretical clear. Dwyer first explains why the body needs an immune system, and how it is organized. He then looks at various questions and conditions that illuminate its workings: pregnancy, transplantation, cancer, AIDS, allergies, autoimmune conditions, and ""chronic fatigue syndrome""--all serve to teach readers what is understood, as well as what we don't yet know, about the immune system. Finally, Dwyer looks at ""some weapons of the immunologist"" (vaccines, drugs), and how we may use ""the mind as an ally,"" or how powerfully it may work against us: ""I could tell you, for example, of a concert pianist who nearly died of bowel inflammation three weeks after breaking and permanently damaging a finger. . .mind and immune system talk to each other constantly."" Consistently readable, enlightening, and entertaining: in all, the best new guide to the rapidly expanding field of immunology.

Pub Date: March 24th, 1989
Publisher: New American Library