An American Story

Book - 2006
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Here David Oshinsky tells the gripping story of the polio terror and of the intense effort to find a cure, from the March of Dimes to the discovery of the Salk and Sabin vaccines - and beyond. Drawing on newly available papers of Jonas Salk, Albert Sabin and other key players, Oshinsky paintsa suspenseful portrait of the race for the cure, weaving a dramatic tale centered on the furious rivalry between Salk and Sabin. He also tells the story of Isabel Morgan, perhaps the most talented of all polio researchers, who might have beaten Salk to the prize if she had not retired to raise afamily.Oshinsky offers an insightful look at the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, which was founded in the 1930s by FDR and Basil O'Connor, it revolutionized fundraising and the perception of disease in America. Oshinsky also shows how the polio experience revolutionized the way in which thegovernment licensed and tested new drugs before allowing them on the market, and the way in which the legal system dealt with manufacturers' liability for unsafe products. Finally, and perhaps most tellingly, Oshinsky reveals that polio was never the raging epidemic portrayed by the media, but intruth a relatively uncommon disease. But in baby-booming America - increasingly suburban, family-oriented, and hygiene-obsessed - the specter of polio, like the specter of the atomic bomb, soon became a cloud of terror over daily life. Both a gripping scientific suspense story and a provocative social and cultural history, Polio opens a fresh window onto postwar America.
Publisher: Oxford [England] ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2006, c2005.
ISBN: 9780195307146
Branch Call Number: 614.549 OSHINSK
Characteristics: viii, 342 p., [16] p. of plates : ill. ; 24 cm.


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Feb 11, 2018

A really great book about the history of the getting to the polio vaccine. An enlightening story about the motivations of the key players and the fears of the public. Reads like a novel.

Would have liked some more detail on virus preparation and risks, and the impact of polio and the program to vaccinate on less advantaged populations.

Jun 03, 2016

Interesting history of the polio vaccine. Much of the book surrounded the various researchers and their methods and egos. Having finished it, I now want to know what causes it? Why did it predominately affect young children? Why did polio season occur in the summer?

Dec 06, 2007

Winner of the 2006 Pulitzer prize for history.


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Mar 17, 2018

ranvapa thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over


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