Jonas Salk and the Conquest of Polio
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|Format:||Paperback / softback, 373 pages|
|Other Information: ||Illustrated|
|Published In: ||United States, 01 February 2006|
Chronicling Dr. Jonas Salk's race against time and a growing polio epidemic that reached 57,000 cases in the summer of 1952, this biography brings to life the medical breakthrough that made Salk a cultural hero and icon.
For children today, the word "polio" means little more than a series of shots, a mundane part of health care. Fifty years ago, however, polio was a dark shadow that arrived every summer, a deep fear hanging over every child and parent. Every year, the disease left tens of thousands of children crippled, paralyzed or, worse, reliant on an iron lung to aid them in breathing. Time magazine senior writer Kluger, coauthor of the bestselling book that was the basis for the movie Apollo 13, tells how polio was beaten 50 years ago in one of the triumphs of modern medicine. The narrative naturally centers on Jonas Salk, whose lab developed the first polio vaccine, but this is by no means a simple biography. Kluger is best when describing science as a team enterprise, and this account offers a keen understanding of the vast machine of people and resources mobilized to combat polio. The book is well researched and accessible, made all the more tense and gripping by the author's depiction of the pre-vaccine world-by describing what it was like to live in fear of polio, Kluger reminds us how joyous and heroic an event its conquest was. B&w photos not seen by PW. Agent, Joy Harris Literary Agency. (Feb. 1) Forecast: The 50th anniversary of Salk's polio vaccine will be commemorated by a Smithsonian exhibit, among other events. This year is also the World Health Organization's target for eliminating polio worldwide. Sales for this title by a previously bestselling author should be very brisk. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
April marks the 50th anniversary of the pronouncement that Jonas Salk's polio vaccine was considered safe and effective, which in turn denoted a step toward conquering this devastating disease. Drawing on Salk's personal papers and the March of Dimes archives-along with extensive interviews with Salk's sons and other key players-Kluger (Lost Moon, the basis for the Apollo 13 movie) wonderfully illustrates the complexity of Salk's personality and how his tenacity helped to push forward the concept of a killed vaccine despite a great deal of opposition. Kluger covers many of the same events as Richard Carter's Breakthrough; while Carter had the advantage of interviewing Salk and his colleagues soon after the vaccine became available, Kluger nicely complements the earlier book by providing a fresh look at events based on a historical perspective of the disease's progress and eradication attempts by the World Health Organization. This fascinating read is recommended for all public and undergraduate libraries, including those holding Carter's book.-Tina Neville, Univ. of South Florida at St. Petersburg Lib. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Tense and gripping...Tells how polio was beaten fifty years ago in one of the triumphs of modern medicine. ("Publishers Weekly", starred review)
|Publisher: ||Berkley Publishing Group|
|Dimensions: ||22.71 x 15.49 x 2.62 centimeters (0.42 kg)|