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Splendid Solution: Jonas Salk and the Conquest of Polio Book Review Summary

Detailed Plot Synopsis of Splendid Solution: Jonas Salk and the Conquest of Polio

In the first decades of the twentieth century, tens of thousands of children and adults were struck by poliomyelitis, also known as infantile paralysis, every year. Some died, others such as future President Franklin Roosevelt were left permanently without the use of limbs. No one knew the cause. In 1916, a wild rumor that cats were the carriers led to the slaughter of 22,000 felines in the city of New York. Jonas Salk, who worked with a team that developed the first 'flu vaccine for the military during World War II, turned to the problem of polio in the 1950s.

Though colleagues competed with him and criticized his methods, columnists warned of little white coffins being prepared for all the children his test vaccine would kill, and cranks plagued him by mail, Salk and his staff successfully developed a vaccine that drastically reduced the threat of polio. At the dawn of the 21st century, it has nearly been eradicated worldwide.
This report prepared by David Loftus








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Chapter Analysis of Splendid Solution: Jonas Salk and the Conquest of Polio

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Plot & Themes

job/profession:    -   scientist/inventor Job/profession/poverty story    -   Yes Period of greatest activity?    -   1950+

Subject of Biography

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   scientist Ethnicity    -   Jew Nationality    -   American

Setting

How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   1 () United States    -   Yes Misc setting    -   scientific labs Century:    -   1930's-1950's

Writing Style

Book makes you feel?    -   encouraged Pictures/Illustrations?    -   More 6-10 B&W How much dialogue in bio?    -   little dialog How much of bio focuses on most famous period of life?    -   0-25% of book

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Jeffrey Kluger Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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