Guide Polio: An American Story

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Growing up, I never really thought of his disability as a disability. Rather, he just had to do things differently from other people. Perhaps this tenacity is keeping him alive now, as he is in hospice at seventy-nine years old, refusing to let go. That old fight is still in him. Mar 18, Bob Schmitz rated it really liked it Shelves: A fascinating book about the history of polio in the United States and the development of vaccines eradicated it.

The rise of polio in the United States seems to come about with the increase cleanliness of America in the early part of the 20th century. Before few Americans bathed more than once a week or washed their hair more than once a month and few washed their hands before eating after using the toilet. With the discovery of microbes in the s and the development of the germ theory A fascinating book about the history of polio in the United States and the development of vaccines eradicated it. With the discovery of microbes in the s and the development of the germ theory of disease people began to clean things.

Listerine and cellophane were developed and soap came in the common use. As this antiseptic campaign succeeded polio epidemics began to emerge. Though many blamed polio on immigrants and the poor the epidemic struck mostly the middle class. School campaigns were started to teach children how to wash their hands and how to bathe the goal was to teach people to love to be clean. It seems to work. In a survey showed that soap was the third essential of life right behind bread and butter. The campaign to eradicate polio United States would not have started had not in Franklin D.

Roosevelt, former secretary of the Navy, come down with polio and be paralyzed from the waist down. He found comfort in the water bath treatments in Warm Springs Georgia and asked his law partner, Basil O'Connor to head the campaign to fund raise for the Warm Springs foundation. This began with a series of yearly fundraising balls to celebrate Roosevelt's birthday these were enormously successful until charitable donations dried up with the depression.

The concept of collecting dimes to l protect the health of children was a potent symbol for the nation, culminating with the release of the Roosevelt time in Money was collected locally, half stayed in the local communities for polio treatment, the other half went to the national foundation to be distributed for polio research and special epidemic treatment needs. Between s and the foundation spent million on patient care about two thirds of its total budget for individual medical bills.

There was no means test for those requiring help. The national foundation organize the publicity for the fund raising campaigns such as a movie called The Crippler in which a dark cloud spreads over a playground of children and is finally dispelled by a pretty young actress later known as Nancy Reagan. The short was shown and movie houses in and almost half a million dollars came in from movie box collections alone.

The incidence of polio rows there were 25, reported cases matching the epidemic of and that yearly total wood told rise to 58, Most children recovered completely chance of getting a serious case was small hoping permanently disabled was very small and the chances of dying from polio work miniscule however the victims were so visible and so young that the disease was terrifying.

In the March of Dimes introduced its first official polio poster child the idea was controversial and there was debate over whether to show a cheerful happy child or a frightened and side one. He was Donald Anderson a six-year-old from Oregon who love detention and had a tendency to show off and had recovered something that completely from his polio attack. Jonas Salk grew up in the Jewish immigrant culture of New York. The son of a grade school dropout from Russia who worked in Manhattan's garment district he was academically very ambitious.

After graduation Salk married a girl from wealthy family who would not give up their daughter unless he had a doctor in front of his name and he added Edward as a middle name. He did not have one previously. The silliness of people. At the national foundation Basil O'Connor appointed Harry Weaver to organize the research into the cure of polio it was his organization determination finally led to a cure. He had to decide who got funding and how much and what subjects would be looked at. One of the first tasks was to determine how many different strains of polio there were.

This was time consuming grunt work and Salk offered to do the job. He got a ton of money and lab space but not the esteem of many of the other polio researchers, particularly Sabin, who regarded Salk as not very smart or sophisticated. He was never admitted to the most prestigious of the national science academies.

However Salk persevered typed the virus and eventually developed a killed vaccine that proved effective in major US trials. This vaccine would not cause a case of polio but was not as effective as the attenuated vaccine developed by Sabin a year later. The Sabin vaccine became the world standard and has essentially wiped polio from the earth. Ironically, however, now that polio is so rare the killed vaccine should be used as the attenuated can cause polio in rare cases. But retooling all the factories will not happen. Fascinating book about the early days of modern vaccinations.

Feb 23, Kathie rated it really liked it. I found this book very interesting. It is the story of polio from FDR to the development of a vaccine. Because FDR had polio he had a personal interest in it's treatment or prevention. Of course, the fact that FDR had polio was a big secret.

It describes the formation of the the Infantile Paralysis Foundation which ultimately became the March of Dimes. The race to be the first to develop an effective safe vaccine is a major part of this book. Some parts were a little dry, but ultimately I found I found this book very interesting.

Some parts were a little dry, but ultimately I found it very interesting. It shows the development of clinical trials. It describes the rivalry between Salk and Sabin. Oct 23, Alger rated it it was ok.

Polio: An American Story - David M. Oshinsky - Google Книги

Workman-like and competent, this book is Pulitzer Prize material more because of the weakness of field that year the other nominees were New York Burning: Jefferson to Lincoln than the impressiveness of this very uneven volume. Oshinsky's primary interest, and his real talent as an author lies in describing the personalities that pushed the search for a cure forward and their relationship Workman-like and competent, this book is Pulitzer Prize material more because of the weakness of field that year the other nominees were New York Burning: Oshinsky's primary interest, and his real talent as an author lies in describing the personalities that pushed the search for a cure forward and their relationships.

For that reason the "American Story" of the subtitle is really a story of four primary actors: In turn, each of these actors is presented as the public face of polio and the story of the cure is personalized through their actions. The result is that we hear about outbreaks and panics as asides to the main story, as in how the record polio year of lent support to those wanting to move Salk's vaccine to public trial. This also means that the wind down of the book is wasted space, since the climax of the story as told through these actors was the replacement of the Salk killed vaccine with Sabin's live vaccine in the s.

This is presented as a smooth transition that ended the contest, until the recent debates about phasing out the Sabin vaccine to bring an end the disease in the wild. Problem one is that this four actor narrative over-simplifies the story, and reduces everything to interpersonal politics, and the rivalry of Salk and Sabin is characterized as a zero sum contest where one wins and the other loses. We lose the rich layer of paranoia that the March of Dimes inspired about the disease in an era already rich with fear.

We lose the decades of research by other participants whose stories are as equally deserving of telling, and here only get a facile paragraph or so. We lose the seminal influence that the March of Dimes campaign had in establishing celebrity diseases and later searches for cures for breast cancer, drugs, AIDS, PKD, and others.

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We lose the cultural impact of the disease altogether except for the segment where Salk becomes a national hero. The narrowness of Oshinsky's vision is apparent in the selection of pictures included in the book. We are shown pictures of quarantines, but there is a bare mention in the text. We are shown ward after ward of sick children but we never visit them. We are shown images of mass vaccination programs, but they are just not mentioned. This is an "American story" at its most abstract. Problem two is that anywhere these four actors are not involved Oshinsky becomes glib and unreliable.

He doesn't seem very interested in why polio emerged in the early 20th century as a disease of the developed world, he first tells us that there are several hypotheses, and then only tells us of one that from then on he refers to as an established fact. He tells us of a woman who became an early hero of polio treatment through her theory that polio could be treated with heat and massage.

We are never given any basis upon which we can judge the effectiveness of her treatment over others because up to that point Oshinsky didn't bother describing any treatment in detail with the one exception of how heat and massages potentially made FDR's polio damage worse. Then at the very end of the book, where he is trying to sum up the contest between Salk and Sabin we are simply told that Sabin's vaccine won in the s and Salk left polio research to go found a research institute, and we are treated to long and digressive sections about the weirdness of the Salk Institute but no more detail about the ongoing discussions in the medical community that lasted throughout this period about which vaccine was more effective and the continual improvements in both vaccines.

I was vaccinated against polio long after Sabin won the field in Oshinky's opinion, yet I and all of my classmates received the Salk killed virus. Then for a booster, I got the oral vaccine long before Oshinsky claims that the mixed approach was tried in the s. This is just sloppy work that needlessly oversimplifies a complicated issue.

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Problem three is that by naming this "An American Story" Oshinsky was able to ignore the global campaigns except for where it applies to his four actor narrative. So we get almost nothing about the eradication of polio in the western hemisphere, or the ongoing campaign which is getting close to eliminating the disease altogether which was a stated goal already in , but we do get detailed observations of Sabin's vaccine trials in Russia.

In short, because I feel that the personal rivalry of Salk and Sabin is the least interesting part of the history of polio, I consider this a very bad history. What it really is best considered as is four person biography. Oct 04, Jamie Jones Hullinger rated it liked it. Oshinsky does such a great job at showcasing history. Aug 01, Sean O rated it really liked it. The history of polio in America is a long sprawling tale, which includes a president, a wildly successful fundraising organization, baby boomer epidemics, s suburban terror, iron lungs! This is typically my favorite type of non fiction book, but I have discovered I enjoy books with a little more focus.

This one had to be sprawling. Apr 08, Maddie Seidner rated it really liked it. The book polio an American story written by David M. Oshinsky takes you back in time to the polio outbreak. Oshinsky takes the reader to a time when president Roosevelt had polio, the medication and treatment methods used to help polio cases, and the people who came together to fight polio.

There is a story behind each of the three main ideas that Oshinsky talks about. I would defiantly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the history of Polio, a devastating outbreak that affected The book polio an American story written by David M. I would defiantly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the history of Polio, a devastating outbreak that affected many peoples lives. Jun 27, Ana Rusness-petersen rated it it was amazing. I set out to read "Polio: An American Story" as a window into better understanding the culture at the height of polio and the experience my dad likely had as a victim of polio.

This ended up being a great book that taught me a lot about the history and experience of polio, as well as a great deal about the process of vaccine creation and politics. This book traces the polio virus from its earliest emergence ultimately to , the year this book was published. It definitely has as its backbone th I set out to read "Polio: It definitely has as its backbone the progression of polio, but takes a few tangents FDR, National Foundation, and the lives of relevant scientists to more completely illustrate the immensity of and extreme talent and dedication necessary to ultimately defeat polio.

At times, it almost seems to discuss too many of the scientists and heads of laboratories and organizations - it ended up being a little hard to keep track of who was who and who did what. But in the course of the book, the background, particularly of Salk, Sabin, and O'Connor did prove revealing and helpful in understanding their place in the battle against polio.

I found the discussion of the pros and cons of Salk's killed-virus approach vs. Sabin's live-virus approach interesting. The way the recommended vaccination promoted by the US came full-circle from Salk to Sabin to a combination of Salk and Sabin, back to Salk was also interesting. Then, it appears there was a period between when the Sabin vaccine was licensed, at least for vaccine trials and that one could have received either Salk or Sabin vaccine, although Sabin became more predominant. Then, between and , a mixed vaccine approach was used two doses of Salk's less-virulant vaccine at two and four months, and two doses of Sabin's riskier live-virus at months and years.

They were no longer seen as necessary for the greater good. But my question is, where can one who lived in that middle ground go to find out which vaccine he or she received? And are we certain that the immunity gained from these vaccines given so early in life, last for a lifetime? An American Story" is a great source of information, especially for those of us who didn't live through the US polio epidemic, but even provides a wealth of new information to those who did, I would imagine.

It is a must read for those interested in the topic, and I would say the best jumping-off platform for additional reading on the subject as it provides an excellent foundation on which to add more polio knowledge and anecdotal illustrations to form the complete polio story. Dec 11, Marcus rated it it was amazing. One of the most interesting parts of the Polio story is how it was really the last large public health campaign waged almost entirely without any government involvement or funding.

Indeed, at the height of the polio epidemics during the Cold War, researchers uniformly campaigned against government involvement because they feared the specter of socialized medicine. But it was the revolutionary way that the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis changed the nature of charitable fundraising in America that made this decade-spanning search for a vaccine possible. In fact, it may be the greatest grassroots success story in American history.

The money collected by the National Foundation mainly went to patient care and funding scientific research. In the s two competing vaccines would emerge: The country soon switched to the Sabin vaccine; its attenuated live virus was easier to administer and was more effective at providing life-long immunity. While naturally-occurring Polio was eradicated in the Western Hemisphere in the late s the Sabin vaccine itself unfortunately causes a small number of cases.

Thus in the CDC decided to switch back to the Salk dead virus vaccine, which was safer. Thank you to the men and women to led the fight against this horrific disease. Feb 02, Hillary rated it it was amazing. Oshinsky begins by explaining that the state of the American Medical institutions in the was both dangerous and embarrassing and severely lagging behind the European laboratories.

In France contributions from an adoring public had created the Pasture institute. In fact he has one of my favorite quotes in the book. The book then covers in great detail the presidential candidacy of President F. Roosevelt, how he was stricken with polio, how Dr. The book also suggests that it was because an American President became stricken with Polio that it took the stigmatism out of it having it and put urgency into curing it.

FDR became a great crusader for curing the dreaded illness. As a side note LADIES, a women named Isabel Morgan was actually the first researcher to successfully test a killed polio virus on a monkey in 6 years before Salk But left her Johns Hopkins career to marry and raise a family. I could go on and on, I only covered 1 one hundredth of this book. Suffice it to say, it was outstanding and completely deserving of the Pulitzer for History books. Jun 01, Val rated it it was amazing.

I selected this book because polio affected my family and I wanted to learn more about the spread of it in 20th century America and the drive to find a vaccine. My grandfather contracted polio as a child, and although fortunate to survive, he was partially crippled throughout his life and used a cane, which I remember bringing home with us as a treasured family heirloom after he passed away.

His battle with polio was decades earlier than the concentrated national effort to find a cure in the I selected this book because polio affected my family and I wanted to learn more about the spread of it in 20th century America and the drive to find a vaccine. His battle with polio was decades earlier than the concentrated national effort to find a cure in the s and s, but as I read accounts in this book of children twisted, crippled, or paralyzed by this dreaded disease, and parents begging to get their children into the vaccine trials despite the risks, it made me think of what my great-grandparents went through when my grandfather contracted polio.

There was no potential vaccine then and polio was misunderstood as to its origin and characteristics. The poor housewives who were told that a spotless home was the only way to protect from polio and the guilt they felt if their children contracted it despite their tireless efforts scrubbing and washing and spraying! I read of these mistaken notions and imagined my great-grandmother wondering what she had done wrong that allowed her son to be struck down by polio.

America advanced from this early misconception of the virus, largely through heavy losses to other viruses, particularly influenza in WWI, in which America lost 44, to influenza compared to around 50, in combat-related casualties.

Polio: An American Story

I brought to my reading of this book only a general knowledge of the great worldwide influenza epidemic during WWI, and it was very interesting to read about how searching for a vaccine to protect America's troops from similar disease losses in WWII ultimately prepared the people and technologies in the s who would also create the polio vaccine in the s. This led me to another personal connection with the book that came as a surprise.

Jonas Salk is famous for developing the polio vaccine, of course, but I knew nothing about his education and research background before his landmark achievement. My son in-law will be entering grad school this fall at the University of Michigan, into the school's internationally renowned epidemiology program. He will continue his research of infectious diseases, epidemics, pandemics, and public policies to prevent and control these.

It is a fascinating field. It turns out that the Michigan epidemiology program has a number of legendary figures in its hall of fame, including Jonas Salk and his mentor, Dr.

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Francis was the first to isolate the influenza virus, and he secured millions of dollars of government grant money to build up Michigan's epidemiology program with a specific mission to protect America's troops from influenza. Francis convinced young Jonas Salk to join the influenza research program, and Salk was a professor of epidemiology at Michigan for 6 years, focused primarily on influenza.

After 6 years under Dr. Francis's wing, Salk was eager to spread his wings and create something similar to Michigan somewhere else. He chose Pittsburgh, and thanks to that school's visionary leaders, received generous private donations from Pittsburgh's wealthiest benefactors, and established his own epidemiology program at the University of Pittsburgh.

Salk ever-after credited Dr. Francis and Michigan for the incredible lessons he learned about viruses, laboratory testing, and vaccine production techniques. Francis would later play a key role in lending his name and reputation to Salk's national polio vaccine trials. So my son-in-law will be walking hallowed hallways where Jonas Salk, Dr. Francis, and other luminaries in epidemiology exchanged ideas and conducted critical tests that made our world much healthier and safer from disease in 50 years of concentrated scientific effort than it had been in the prior years of medical experimentation, as the author notes.

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This book goes into interesting detail about FDR and how polio affected him, and perhaps more importantly, how he affected the public' awareness of polio and willingness to donate money to help fight it. Polio was the first disease to spawn national fundraising drives, such as the March of Dimes, and this forever changed America's view of laboratories, researchers, human drug trials, and turned Salk into a national hero. I was disappointed, but not surprised, at the internal drama, ego, and envy behind the scenes, but the race to find a safe and effective vaccine was just that - a race.

Races involve competition, and Albert Sabin was Salk's primary rival, only rivalry in this case would still produce something of benefit to the nation since the winners would be America's children, receiving protection against a terrible disease. The competing and different theories of Salk and Sabin made for interesting reading.

A Paralyzing Fear: The Story of Polio in America Trailer

One of the heartbreaking things with vaccines, as captured in some poignant vignettes in this book, is that there was an age beyond which the vaccine was not effective. Although young children received the blessed protection from the polio vaccine starting in the mids, older children and teens were not targeted to receive it and still contracted polio and died.

One mother lamented that her child, dying of polio, was born less than a year too early to be eligible for the vaccine trials. We take tried and true immunizations for granted now, but in the s during national trials, parents were desperate for hope and far too many had theirs crushed by timing. Finally, this book illustrates that at one time America could unite in a common cause that could benefit its most vulnerable citizens. Rich and poor alike willingly joined forces. Fundraisers encouraged ALL Americans, with FDR's warm endorsement, to dig deeply and generously into individual and corporate pockets to help crippled children by seeking a cure for polio.

There is a tendency today as there was then, to castigate the super-wealthy for not doing "enough" to help charities, but the figures who donated the most to fight polio included the Carnegies, Mellons, Rockefellers, and others. Some of these poured millions of dollars into Salk's proposed research facilities in Pittsburgh before he had become a national hero.

They believed in what he was trying to do and they put their money behind their hopes for his theories. The combination of government grants at Michigan for influenza and later for polio vaccine trials, and private funding for building facilities and keeping them equipped, allowed teams of researchers to make advances that would have taken decades longer, or never happened at all. It was a terrifically effective model of a nation uniting to tackle a life-or-death problem.

The nation had done this in war, but this was storming cell walls rather than beaches at Normandy, test tubes rather than enemy tanks. Living in a very divided America in , I read this book with renewed hope that under the right conditions, our people could unite for the common good and let it bring out our best selves regardless of party or economic status. Aug 04, Zach rated it liked it. It's interesting that the polio vaccine is hailed as a scientific milestone when the disease was relatively rare in the US.

I didn't know much about polio prior to reading this, and had pictured it as a public health threat just below that of the Spanish flu of However, its incidence , cases in was trumped up by the incredible funding provided by the March of Dimes, which, in turn, was funded by polio's most visible victim, Franklin Roosevelt. I would have loved a story of the It's interesting that the polio vaccine is hailed as a scientific milestone when the disease was relatively rare in the US.

I would have loved a story of the bench science and viral mechanisms of the vaccine race between Jonas Salk and Alexander Sabin, but in this case the national publicity and dump truck of cash focused virology research on polio. It was a terrible disease, one that hit the healthy and well-to-do which probably galvanized said funding without warning. The effects were grim: Salk's vaccine saved millions, and with little ill effect. It's a tidy story of American ingenuity, ready for another printing of history textbooks.

However, the book doesn't seem to imply that Salk had a particular stroke of genius that created the vaccine. He was dedicated to his craft and a brilliant man, but it appears his vaccine was more the product of solid labwork than Arthur Fleming creating penicillin from a discarded orange. I think that's an important lesson, as so many discoveries are treated as "eureka" moments from eccentrics we can never hope to replicate. It's an interesting story, told from all angles, and focusing on the social machine that created the demand for, and the public solution to a disease.

Intellectually, it's a 4-star book, but it didn't move me, create anticipation, or compel me with anything besides the utilitarian competence of the narrative, so 3 stars it is. Nov 02, Trena rated it it was amazing. The book sort of starts with FDR as the impetus behind the national crusade against polio. I was planning to judge the author harshly if he didn't acknowledge current theories that FDR had not been struck by polio but by Guillain-Barre Syndrome, which as an armchair diagnostician I find convincing based on his age and the bilateral involvement.

Oshinsky passed the test. The book covers both the social and the scientific angles, describing equally adeptly the birth Fascinating, well-written book. The book covers both the social and the scientific angles, describing equally adeptly the birth of modern philanthropy, the evolution of polio treatment including a small bit on the iron lung , and the scientific search for and battle over a vaccine. It's worth noting that many of the same scientists were involved in the polio fight as in The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History. Jefferson and His Time by Dumas Malone Lamy of Santa Fe by Paul Horgan The Impending Crisis, — by David M.

Potter Completed and edited by Don E. The Dred Scott Case: The National Experience, — by Lawrence A. Mary Chesnut's Civil War by C. The Transformation of Virginia, — by Rhys L. Prophets of Regulation by Thomas K. Voyagers to the West: Battle Cry of Freedom: America in the King Years — by Taylor Branch.

America's Empire in the Philippines by Stanley Karnow The Fate of Liberty: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: Summer for the Gods: Burrows and Mike Wallace. The Revolutionary Generation by Joseph J. An Army at Dawn: Washington's Crossing by David Hackett Fischer An American Story by David Oshinsky What Hath God Wrought: The Hemingses of Monticello: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable Slavery and War in Virginia, by Alan Taylor Encounters at the Heart of the World: Blood in the Water: Retrieved from " https: Pages to import images to Wikidata All stub articles.

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