Polio Voices: An Oral History from the American Polio Epidemics and Worldwide Eradication Efforts

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Praeger, 2007 - Health & Fitness - 171 pages
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Incorporating many rare photographs from the family albums of survivors who tell their stories, Harvard professor Julie Silver, M.D., and historian Daniel Wilson help readers understand the sheer terror that gripped parents of young children every spring and summer during the first half of the 20th century as polio epidemics ran rampant. Interviewed as part of the Polio Oral History Project directed by Silver and funded by Harvard, foundations, and private donors, the people featured in this book describe what is arguably the most feared scourge of modern times. Testimonies are included from people who worked in polio wards, as well as from those involved in worldwide eradication efforts. The book also addresses the emergence of the polio and disability rights movement, the challenges of post-polio syndrome, and the state of polio research and developments today. And it explores the concern that polio could return in an even more vicious form as a result of bioterrorism.

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Contents

The Epidemic Years
15
Acute and Convalescent Polio
35
Polios Impact on the Family
59

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About the author (2007)

Julie Silver, M.D., is Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School and the Medical Director of the International Rehabilitation Center for Polio (IRCP) at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital. A world-renowned expert on Post-Polio Syndrome, she has published widely with seven authored books and eight edited collections to her credit, as well as dozens of articles in peer reviewed journals, magazines, and newspapers. She is the author of Post-Polio Syndrome: A Guide for Polio Survivors and Their Families, which received the Will Solimene Award of Excellence from the American Medical Writers Association. Silver is also Series Editor for two Praeger series, Contemporary Health and Wellness, and Rehabilitation and Recovery After Injury or Disease. For more information regarding polio, her polio books, or the IRCP, visit www.polioclinic.org.

Daniel J. Wilson, Ph.D., has been teaching history of medicine for more than a decade and is Professor of History at Muhlenberg College. He was a Fellow with the Agency of Healthcare Research and Quality National Endowment for the Humanities. He has given presentations on the polio epidemics at meetings of the American Association for the History of Medicine, The American Historical Association, and the International Post-Polio and Independent Living Conference, as well as at Harvard University and Columbia University. Wilson is, himself, a polio survivor.

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