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Recommended Books on Topics Related to the History of Polio

Black, Kathryn. In the Shadow of Polio: A Personal and Social History (New York: Addison-Wesley, 1996).

Carter, Richard. Breakthrough: The Saga of Jonas Salk. (New York: Trident Press, 1966).

Daniel, Thomas M., and Frederick C. Robbins, eds. Polio (Rochester, N.Y.: University of Rochester Press, 1997).

Davis, Fred. Passage through Crisis: Polio Victims and Their Families (New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction Publications, 1963, 1991).

Gallagher, Hugh. FDR’s Splendid Deception (New York: Dodd, Mead & Co., 1985).

Gould, Tony. A Summer Plague: Polio and Its Survivors (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1995).

Kluger, Jeffrey. Splendid Solution: Jonas Salk and the Conquest of Polio (New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 2004).

Mee, Charles. A Nearly Normal Life: A Memoir (Boston: Little, Brown, 1999).

Oshinsky, David. Polio: An American Story (New York: Oxford University Press, 2005).

Paul, John R. A History of Poliomyelitis (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1971).

Rogers, Naomi. Dirt and Disease: Polio before FDR (New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1992).

Shapiro, Joseph. No Pity: People with Disabilities Forging a New Civil Rights Movement (New York: Times Books, 1993).

Sills, David. The Volunteers: Means and Ends in a National Organization (Glencoe, Ill: Free Press, 1957).

Waterson, Anthony, and Lise Wilkinson. An Introduction to the History of Virology (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1978).

Zames, Frieda, and Doris Zames Fleischer. The Disability Rights Movement: From Charity to Confrontation (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2001).


Quotations used on this site are taken from unpublished interviews, conversations, and the following books:

Alexander, Larry. The Iron Cradle (New York: Crowell, 1954).

Beisser, Arnold. Flying without Wings (New York: Doubleday, 1989).

Belnap, David M., et al. “Three-Dimensional Structure of Poliovirus Receptor Bound to Poliovirus,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 97, 1 (4 January 2000): 73–78.

Caverly, C. S. “Preliminary Report of an Epidemic of Paralytic Disease Occurring in Vermont, in the Summer of 1894,” Yale Medical Journal 1 (1894–5): 1–5.

Cello, Jeronimo, Aniko V. Paul, and Eckard Wimmer. “Chemical Synthesis of Poliovirus cDNA: Generation of Infectious Virus in the Absence of Natural Template,” Science 297 (9 August 2002): 1016–18.

Crick, Francis. What Mad Pursuit: A Personal View of Scientific Discovery (New York: Basic Books, 1988).

Finger, Anne. “Beginnings,” unpublished manuscript (2004).

Gallagher, Hugh. Black Bird Fly Away: Disabled in an Able-Bodied World (Arlington, Va.: Vandamere Press, 1998).

Kehret, Peg. Small Steps: The Year I Got Polio (Albert Whitman & Co., 1996).

Kirkendall, Don, with Mary Warren. Bottom High to the Crowd (New York: Walker and Company, 1973).

Kriegel, Leonard. The Long Walk Home (New York: Appleton-Century, 1964).

LeComte, Edward. The Long Road Back: The Story of My Encounter with Polio (Boston: Beacon Press, 1957).

Longmore, Paul. Why I Burned My Book (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2003).

Marugg, Jim. Beyond Endurance (London: Rupert Hart-Davis, 1955).

Milam, Lorenzo Wilson. The Crippled Liberation Front Marching Band Blues (San Diego: Mho & Mho Works, 1984).

O’Brien, Mark, with Gillian Kendall. How I Became a Human Being: A Disabled Man's Quest for Independence (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2003).

Racaniello, Vincent, and David Baltimore. “Molecular Cloning of Poliovirus cDNA and Determination of the Complete Nucleotide Sequence of the Viral Genome,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 78, 8 (August 1981): 4667–4891.

Rusk, Howard, and Eugene Taylor. Rehabilitation Medicine (St. Louis: Mosby, 1958).

Sass, Edmund, ed. Polio’s Legacy: An Oral History (Lanham, Md.: University Press of America, 1996).

Silver, Julie K. Post-Polio Syndrome: A Guide for Polio Survivors and Their Families (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 2001).

Thompson, Campbell. “The Essential Features of Poliomyelitis; Part One: The Acute Stage,” Public Health Nursing 30 (1938): 142–47.

Glossary of terms relevant in the history of polio.
Related Links

Center for Disease Control, 50th anniversary of the first polio vaccine
This site has information about the significance of immunizations and the 50th anniversary of the Salk vaccine.

March of Dimes
This site presents the history of the March of Dimes and polio.

Rotary International
This site covers Rotary International’s history and current activities, including the global campaign to stop poliovirus.

Polio Eradication
This site has a current map,  updated weekly,  of where poliovirus still circulates.

Salk Institute for Biological Studies
This is the site for the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, founded by Jonas Salk.

Post-Polio Health International
This is the site for Post-Polio Health International, founded by Gini Laurie, and contains news and events related to post-polio syndrome.

Virology Journal
Nearly anything you ever wanted to know about viruses can be found on this site.

Smithsonian National Museum of American History main site