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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0316372617, Hardcover)For all the devastation and suffering AIDS has caused worldwide, we have devoted surprisingly little attention to its beginnings. Former UN official and BBC correspondent Edward Hooper hopes to find the source of AIDS in The River, a stunningly comprehensive yet deeply engaging scientific history of the disease. Through more than 10 years of research comprising over 600 interviews and untold hours of library work, Hooper has uncovered a complex, interlocking set of stories--of scientific research, of medical assistance to the Third World, of political and economic exigencies that drive the courses of our lives--and brought them together in over 1,000 pages of text, footnotes, references, and illustrations.
His thesis, that HIV made the jump from simians to humans via the administration of oral polio vaccine in Africa in the 1950s, is still controversial, but his arguments are powerful, broad, and undeniable--all that is lacking is conclusive proof. Like a good scientist (and, sad to say, unlike any HIV researcher to date), he offers several easy tests of his hypothesis. His tales of brilliant epidemiological deductions, biochemical comparisons, and physiological insights ought to convince the medical establishment that the answer can and should be found, both to help us deal with the current crisis and to keep us from creating new ones of its ilk. In a litigation-weary world, though, it seems that it will take the kind of tireless, impartial research found in The River to show us--and our leaders--that blame should take a back seat to truth when extreme circumstances demand it. --Rob Lightner
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:36 -0400)
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