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Polio: An American Story di David M.…
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Polio: An American Story (originale 2005; edizione 2006)

di David M. Oshinsky (Autore)

UtentiRecensioniPopolaritàMedia votiCitazioni
5631331,827 (4.11)60
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 paints a 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 a family. 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 the government 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 in truth 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.… (altro)
Utente:reecejones
Titolo:Polio: An American Story
Autori:David M. Oshinsky (Autore)
Info:Oxford University Press (2006), Edition: Illustrated, 352 pages
Collezioni:La tua biblioteca
Voto:
Etichette:Science/Nature

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Polio: An American Story di David M. Oshinsky (2005)

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A history of the polio epidemic in 20th c. America and the rivalry between scientists as they raced for a vaccine. The general history of the disease was included to give context to the American story. This was a solid read and I appreciated the details of an era I remember from my childhood. ( )
  beebeereads | Aug 29, 2020 |
Oshinsky's Polio is truly a great American story of the pursuit of Polio vaccination and its eventual eradication. The story telling is intricate, with a healthy dose of politics in the early times of nationwide healthcare initiatives, academic research - with the required jealousy, fighting, and competition. ( )
  bsmashers | Aug 1, 2020 |
When was the last time you heard the word “polio?” It was probably in reference to a vaccine, not the disease. So thoroughly have the effects of polio vaccination been felt that less than 2,000 cases exist each year and only in remote regions of Nigeria, India, and Pakistan. Ridding the world of it forever (in other words, complete eradication, like with smallpox) is in sight.

Polio once caused swimming pools and movie theaters to shut down in order to prevent possible venues to transmit disease, so Oshinsky tells us in this well-told history. The verification of the Salk vaccine produced utter euphoria in America and amplified the American ethic of can-do-know-how-ism.

He also shares the tale of the rivalry between polio virologists Jonas Salk and Albert Sabin (and truth be told, other virologists as well). Both deserve credit for their cure and for their respective work, each producing an effective vaccine. However, both had different methods, different audiences, and different attitudes. Fortunately for us, each vaccine could serve its part to contribute to the global effort to eradicate polio – even if their respective inventors could not get along.

As such, this book teaches functions not merely as another history of disease but also as an important commentary on the culture of science. It teaches us how to get along and how to work together – especially when we work differently than the people sitting next to us. This intricately human story should not perish among the annals of American history. ( )
  scottjpearson | Jan 25, 2020 |
This is a very interesting look back over the disease of polio and the research into it. Reads more like a fiction novel. ( )
  Nero56 | Apr 6, 2015 |
Going into this book, I knew very little about the efforts to eliminate polio in the United States. I'd heard of Jonas Salk but knew nothing about his background or the contribution of other scientists to polio research. This book is an excellent, in-depth look at how polio became the most feared disease in the U.S. (ahead of other, more common and fatal diseases). It details FDR's own struggle with polio, the creation of the March of Dimes, and the race for a vaccine.

I do not have any medical background, so I was pleased that I was able to read this book without feeling bogged down by overly scientific discussions of the disease or the efforts to prevent it. Someone with a medical background might have greater appreciation for some of the critical but not hugely publicized breakthroughs in polio research. For example, the overview of John Enders' method of growing polio in different tissues didn't really resonate with me as a huge breakthrough - but the book argues that it was one of the most important discoveries in the effort to find a vaccine (and in fact, the researchers won a Nobel Prize for that discovery). That section felt a little dry to me, but in retrospect, it was a very relevant part of the story. Really, the only thing the layperson needs to be able to understand is the difference between a live virus vaccine and a killed virus vaccine, which I (as a layperson) had no difficulty understanding. Some of the nuance was undoubtedly lost on me, but the author does an excellent job of distilling the necessary facts and explaining them well.

I was also very surprised by the feud between Salk and Sabin (another polio researcher). The book does a great job of explaining how Salk became a popular scientist while Sabin earned the respect of the scientific community. This, plus the in-depth account of the national Salk vaccine trial, is what makes the book such an absorbing read. I highly recommend it for non-fiction fans. ( )
  slug9000 | Jun 11, 2013 |
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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 paints a 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 a family. 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 the government 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 in truth 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.

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