- Hardcover: 413 pages
- Publisher: William Morrow & Co; 1st edition (April 1990)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0688094945
- ISBN-13: 978-0688094942
- Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 6.4 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,534,624 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Patenting the Sun: Polio and the Salk Vaccine 1st Edition
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From Publishers Weekly
Paralytic polio went from epidemic outbreak to near-extinction in 50 years. This medical triumph involved more than the daring of Jonas Salk, who developed a killer-virus vaccine against the advice of his colleagues, and of his rival Albert Sabin, whose oral live-virus vaccine is now widely used. The war on polio is also the story of the March of Dimes, mass field-testing of the vaccine on schoolchildren, accidental deaths, scientists jockeying for prestige and power, and the importation of large numbers of monkeys. A Northwestern University visiting scholar, Smith unconvincingly links FDR's struggle with crippling polio to the nation's turning "to the language of polio" in the 1930s ("Business was 'paralyzed,' the economy was 'crippled' "). Her contention that the 1950s vaccination program drew popular support from the Cold War's "atmosphere of mass vulnerability" seems dubious, as do some of her sociological interpretations. Even so, this exciting, dramatic narrative tells a comprehensive story of the conquest of polio and sheds fresh light on the politics of medicine. Photos. Author tour.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top customer reviews
With children dying and being crippled by Polio each summer, there was a great desire to develop a safe and effective vaccine. Dr. Salk was so confident in his vaccine that he vaccinated himself, his wife, and his 3 boys.
When the newspaper headlines declared "VICTORY OVER POLIO" it was as if we had won a war. And, we felt as if we had! This good news replaced news of hydrogen bomb tests and Supreme Court hearings on school desegregation for a while.
But, in the last chapter of her book Smith reminds us that there are over 300,000 polio survivors in the USA today and many of them are now suffering from new symptoms, the late effects of Polio, commonly called Post Polio Syndrome (PPS). It reminds us that the final chapters on Polio are not yet written...