The only things I remember about polio are being unable to go the swimming pool in the summer and standing in line for the Salk vaccine. David M. Oshinsky fleshes out the story of the behind-the-scenes bickering and competition between Salk and Sabin, and how the “March of Dimes” changed the world of fundraising forever. I had no idea that little of the research to produce a vaccine was funded by the government. It was pretty much — for good or ill — the work of the March of Dimes.
Reading a book about a dreaded disease that killed and paralyzed children may sound like a downer. Not so. It’s a fascinating story by an author who makes science writing accessible to all readers. I couldn’t put it down.