Saturday, June 9, 2012

Book # 32 - Polio

David M. Oshinsky
342 pages, thankfully 54 of them are notes

Traces the history of polio research. Interesting insight into the life of the polio-stricken president, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Conquering polio captured the hearts of the American people. They poured enormous amount of support into the March of Dimes, setting the bar for charity giving.

This book covers the careers of many key players in the fight, the top ones being Jonas Salk with his killed virus vaccine and Albert Sabin with his live virus version. Many other scientists and policy makers fit into the puzzle with the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, changing polio from a dreaded thing to a disease that was conquered.

Took me a long time to read it, but I finally did. Interesting bit about Jonas Salk moving to La Jolla. I work near the Salk Institute and want to tour it soon. Also, Salk's second wife, the artist Francoise Gilot, has a sculpture in the lobby of the hospital where I work.