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Thomas Frieden's Top Book Recommendations

Want to know what books Thomas Frieden recommends on their reading list? We've researched interviews, social media posts, podcasts, and articles to build a comprehensive list of Thomas Frieden's favorite book recommendations of all time.


Strategy of Preventive Medicine

Recommended by Thomas Frieden, and 1 others.

Thomas FriedenI’m sorry that I didn’t know about this book until pretty far on in my career – but it’s a fantastic book that explains why and how disease occurs in society. We think of the need to treat people who are very ill, and of course we need to do that. What Rose talks about is that for most human illnesses there’s a bell curve distribution. If we just treat people for disease that will do some good,... (Source)

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A Global Threat

This book is written in plain English and covers all aspects of the tobacco problem. These include the health effects of active smoking, passive smoking (environmental smoke), and oral (chewing) tobacco. There are also sections on how tobacco affects women and children. less
Recommended by Thomas Frieden, and 1 others.

Thomas FriedenSir John Crofton was a wonderful man and he became a mentor of mine. He is the one who actually figured out how we should treat tuberculosis and basically get everybody cured. He wrote not only standard textbooks of lung medicine but also a very simple low-cost text that became the guide for doctors and other healthcare workers around the world on how to treat lung disease. He then turned to... (Source)

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Since its founding in 1951, the Epidemic Intelligence Service has waged war on every imaginable ailment. When an epidemic hits, the EIS will be there to crack the case, however mysterious or deadly, saving countless lives in the process. Over the years they have successfully battled polio, cholera, and smallpox, to name a few, and in recent years have turned to the epidemics killing us now--smoking, obesity, and gun violence among them.

The successful EIS model has spread internationally: former EIS officers on the staff of the Centers for Disease Control have helped to establish...
Recommended by Thomas Frieden, and 1 others.

Thomas FriedenIt really is. This book is for a new generation what a book written by Berton Roueché called The Medical Detectives was, which I remember reading as a kid. They’re detective stories and they’re interesting and they’re human interest and they’re about saving lives. It’s really exciting. (Source)

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His goal—to prevent every disease that commonly attacked children—was unattainable. But Maurice Hilleman came close.

Maurice Hilleman is the father of modern vaccines. Chief among his accomplishments are nine vaccines that practically every child gets, rendering formerly deadly diseases—including mumps, rubella, and measles—nearly forgotten.  Author Paul A. Offit’s rich and lively narrative details Hilleman’s research and experiences as the basis for a larger exploration of the development of vaccines, covering two hundred years of medical history and traveling across the globe in...
Recommended by Thomas Frieden, and 1 others.

Thomas FriedenAlthough he was not an easy man to work for, there are few people in the history of humanity who have saved more lives than Maurice Hilleman. (Source)

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A story of courage and risk-taking, House on Fire tells how smallpox, a disease that killed, blinded, and scarred millions over centuries of human history, was completely eradicated in a spectacular triumph of medicine and public health. Part autobiography, part mystery, the story is told by a man who was one of the architects of a radical vaccination scheme that became a key strategy in ending the horrible disease when it was finally contained in India.

In House on Fire, William H. Foege describes his own experiences in public health and details the remarkable...
Recommended by Bill Gates, Thomas Frieden, and 2 others.

Bill GatesThis book gives you a great view from the front lines of that battle. (Source)

Thomas FriedenHouse on Fire is a fantastic book about the fight to eradicate smallpox. Before becoming director, Foege led the efforts to eradicate smallpox in India and Africa and came up with a key innovation that led to eradication. As one of the staff at the CDC said of this book, “Even though we know how it comes out, it’s still a page-turner”. It’s so exciting. (Source)

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