Polio and Its Aftermath: The Paralysis of Culture

Polio and Its Aftermath: The Paralysis of Culture

by Marc Shell
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

ISBN-10: 0674013158

ISBN-13: 9780674013155

Pub. Date: 06/15/2005

Publisher: Harvard University Press

In this book, Marc Shell, himself a victim of polio, offers an inspired analysis of the disease. Part memoir, part cultural criticism and history, part meditation on the meaning of disease, Shell's work combines the understanding of a medical researcher with the sensitivity of a literary critic. It was not long ago that scientists proclaimed victory over polio, the

Overview

In this book, Marc Shell, himself a victim of polio, offers an inspired analysis of the disease. Part memoir, part cultural criticism and history, part meditation on the meaning of disease, Shell's work combines the understanding of a medical researcher with the sensitivity of a literary critic. It was not long ago that scientists proclaimed victory over polio, the dread disease of the 1950s. More recently polio resurfaced, not conquered at all, spreading across the countries of Africa. As we once again face the specter of this disease, along with other killers like AIDS and SARS, this powerful book reminds us of the personal cost, the cultural implications, and the historical significance of one of modern humanity's deadliest biological enemies. In "Polio and Its Aftermath Marc Shell, himself a victim of polio, offers an inspired analysis of the disease. Part memoir, part cultural criticism and history, part meditation on the meaning of disease, Shell's work combines the understanding of a medical researcher with the sensitivity of a literary critic. He deftly draws a detailed yet broad picture of the lived experience of a crippling disease as it makes it way into every facet of human existence. "Polio and Its Aftermath conveys the widespread panic that struck as the disease swept the world in the mid-fifties. It captures an atmosphere in which polio vied with the Cold War as the greatest cause of unrest in North America—and in which a strange and often debilitating uncertainty was one of the disease's salient but least treatable symptoms. Polio particularly afflicted the young, and Shell explores what this meant to families and communities. And he reveals why, in spite of the worldwide relief that greeted Jonas Salk's vaccine as a miracle of modern science, we have much more to fear from polio now than we know. It was not long ago that scientists proclaimed victory over polio, the dread disease of the 1950s. More recently polio re

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780674013155
Publisher:
Harvard University Press
Publication date:
06/15/2005
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
336
Product dimensions:
6.42(w) x 10.92(h) x 1.13(d)

Table of Contents

Prologue

I. AUTOBIOGRAPHIES OF A DISEASE

1. One Polio Story

2. In the Family

3. A Polio School

II. STASIS AND KINESIS

4. Paralytic Polio and Moving Pictures

5. Handi-Capitalism and Cinema Business

6. The Cast of Rear Window; or, Cinema and Akinesia

III. POLITICS

7 Polio and the Great Wars

8 Remembering Roosevelt

9 What We Can Learn, If We Hurry

AFTERMATH

Notes

Acknowledgments

Text Credits

Illustration Credits

List of Boxes

Name Index

Subject Index

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >