User menu

Shopping cart

0 Items $0.00

Matt Richtel, An Elegant Defense

Tuesday, April 16, 2019 - 7:00pm
Matt Richtel An Elegant Defense Bookshop Santa Cruz

Bookshop Santa Cruz welcomes Matt Richtel for a discussion and signing of his newest book, An Elegant Defense, The Extraordinary New Science of the Immune System: A Tale in Four Lives. The immune system impacts every aspect of our lives, including sleep, mood, fitness, nutrition, brain function and aging, and is the ultimate key to wellness and longevity. And yet, it is widely misunderstood. Many people operate under the misconception that they can “boost” their immune system to stay healthy. The truth is the immune system is an incredibly intricate balance within the body (its complexity rivals that of the human brain). The more we understand about how this “elegant defense” operates, the more we can improve our lives.

Magnificently reported and soulfully crafted, An Elegant Defense is the first major narrative exploration of the immune system. Through science and storytelling, Richtel describes the remarkable discovery of the immune system over the last seventy years and explains in vivid detail how this complex system works, how we interact with it, and the risks we inflict on ourselves when we meddle with its natural balance.

Throughout the narrative, Richtel accessibly weaves leading-edge scientific discovery through interviews and anecdotes from dozens of the world’s leading scientists. But Richtel argues that the most powerful first-line of health lies within each of us: our behavior, our attitudes, and the choices we make. Whether common knowledge or counterintuitive advice, An Elegant Defense will enlighten readers about how every facet of life connects to the immune system. Richtel explores fascinating questions – from why boosting your immune system is a myth to what’s behind the explosion of autoimmune disorders in recent decades (a concern for 50 million Americans). 

MATT RICHTEL is a reporter at the New York Times. He received the Pulitzer Prize for national reporting for a series of articles he expanded into his first nonfiction book, A Deadly Wandering (2014), an investigation of a fatal distracted-driving crash, about which the New York Times Book Review hailed, “It deserves a spot next to Fast Food Nation and To Kill a Mockingbird in America’s high-school curriculums.” A New York Times bestseller, A Deadly Wandering was named a best book of the year by the San Francisco Chronicle, Christian Science Monitor, Kirkus Reviews, Winnipeg Free Press, and Richtel has appeared on NPR’s Fresh Air, PBS NewsHour, and other major media outlets. He lives in San Francisco, California. Visit him online at

This free event will take place at Bookshop Santa Cruz. Chairs for open seating are usually set up about an hour before the event begins. If you have any ADA accommodation requests, please e-mail by April 14th.

An Elegant Defense: The Extraordinary New Science of the Immune System: A Tale in Four Lives Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062698537
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: William Morrow - March 12th, 2019