Polio: An American Story
Naturally this book caught my eye when I spotted in on a friend's bookshelf and reading it I discovered how little I knew about the disease and the people involved with finding a cure.
The book can be divided into two parts - the first dealing with the period up to the death of FDR (who had the disease) and the second dealing with the effort to find...more
I finished the book late last night. It's fascinatin...more
Polio was sort of the AIDS of its day only it wasn't clear how people contracted it (and becoming more sanitized was actually not beneficial) and it mostly struck children, so um, maybe not the best analogy but like AIDS it was...more
This book mainly recounts how th National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis supported Jonas Salk and Albert Sabin in developing vaccines for this disease. Polio is a somewhat unusual infectious disease, in that before the vaccines became available, the most appalling potential effects of the virus (such as paralysis and death) would often be more apparent among the better scrubbed children of the midddle and upper classes than among their poorer contemporaries. Sabin hypothesized that perhaps...more
Oh boy, am I ever glad I began reading it, because I didn't stop until I finished! I was amazed at how much additional history trivia was in it, and how much like a detective novel it read. The topic was polio and the race to find the cure, as the title suggests. But it...more
On the one front, he describes the merging of expertise in politics and advertising in the establishment of the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis. The force of FDR's personality a...more
From a social science perspective, the birth and dominance of the March of Dimes was narrated in detail and with an open mind as to the positive and negative effects on American soc...more
But the drama of...more
The race for the cure between Salk and Sabin was very interesting as well, as to find that both vaccines are used today throughout the world.
It must have been scary to be a parent during the outbrea...more
This book traces the polio virus from its earliest emergence ultimately to 2005, the year this book was published. It definitely has as its backbone th...more
I found it interesting that the foundation that raised funds and pursued research did not take government funds nor was there much (if any) government...more
So, needless to say, this book brought back a lot of memories! I grabbed it from the library shelf as soon as I...more
Polio, An American Story isn’t just a book about infantile paralysis in the 1950’s, it’s a book rich with American history and while I generally am loathsome of such detail and find it distracting to the main point, I couldn’t get enough of it in this book and found the authors extraordinary detail only enlightening.
Oshinsky begins by explaining that the state of the American Medical institutions in the 1900 was both dangerous an...more
The book covers both the social and the scientific angles, describing equally adeptly the birth...more
Having read Laser, I suppose I shouldn’t have been shocked that science is as ego-driven as any other pursuit, but the self-interest of the scientists was prett...more
So I knew they eliminated polio by finding a vacine, but what caused it? How was it spread? What was the key to making this amazing progress?
It was hard to find a book that answered my question...more
|Did anyone else read this because of Freakonomics?||5||7||Oct 11, 2012 01:52pm|