In the Shadow of Polio: A Personal and Social History
, 1997 - Medical
- 330 pages
In 1954 Kathryn Black’s mother became one of the millions of people worldwide stricken with polio. A year later, as the Salk vaccine became widely available, the nation heaved a collective sigh of relief, and promptly buried its memories along with its dead. In the Shadow of Polio offers a penetrating look at this intense and significant period in American history. Black explores the lethal progression of her mother’s illness and its devastating emotional impact upon her family, interweaving her story with chapters that broaden into the social and historical context of the epidemic that randomly swept the nation in the 1940s and 1950s. Rich with anecdotes from Black’s years of interviews and correspondence, In the Shadow of Polio is a journey into the homes and hospitals, the lives and memories of the people who lived through this period in our common past.