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Download Splendid Solution: Jonas Salk and the Conquest of Polio Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Splendid Solution: Jonas Salk and the Conquest of Polio, by Jeffrey Kluger Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (169 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jeffrey Kluger Narrator: Michael Prichard Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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The riveting story of one of the greatest scientific accomplishments of the twentieth century, from the coauthor of the #1 New York Times bestseller Apollo 13.

With rivalries, reversals, and a race against time, the struggle to eradicate polio is one of the great tales of modern history. It begins with the birth of Jonas Salk, shortly before one of the worst polio epidemics in United States history. At the time, the disease was a terrifying enigma: striking from out of nowhere, it afflicted tens of thousands of children in this country each year and left them—literally overnight—paralyzed, and sometimes at death’s door.

Salk was in medical school just as a president crippled by the disease, Franklin D. Roosevelt, was taking office—and providing the impetus to the drive for studies on polio. By the early 1950s, Salk had already helped create an influenza vaccine, and was hot on the trail of the polio virus. He was nearly thwarted, though, by the politics of medicine and by a rival researcher eager to discredit his proposed solution. In 1952 polio was spreading in record numbers, with 57,000 cases in the United States that summer alone.

In early 1954 Salk was weighing the possibility of trials of a not-yet-perfected vaccine against-as the summer approached-the prospect of thousands more children being struck down by the disease. The results of the history-making trials were announced at a press conference on April 12, 1955: “The vaccine works.” The room—and an entire nation—erupted in cheers for this singular medical achievement.

Salk became a cultural hero and icon for a whole generation. Now at the fiftieth anniversary of the first national vaccination program—and as humanity is tantalizingly close to eradicating polio worldwide—comes this unforgettable chronicle. Salk’s work was an unparalleled achievement, and it makes for a magnificent read.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Kluger is best when describing science as a team enterprise, and this account offers a keen understanding of the vast machine of people and resources mobilized to combat polio. The book is well researched and accessible, made all the more tense and gripping by the author’s depiction of the pre-vaccine world; by describing what it was like to live in fear of polio, Kluger reminds us how joyous and heroic an event its conquest was.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “A mighty medical event occurred half a century ago, when the curse of polio—of youthful paralysis and suffocating death—was conquered. It was then that the vaccine developed by Dr. Salk was pronounced safe and effective and mass inoculations began…in this unabashedly laudatory history, the story of the achievement is a terrific one. Scientific triumph by a medical hero, described with admiration and lucidity.”

    Kirkus Reviews

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Katie | 2/15/2014

    " This was one of the best books I've read in a long time. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Marvin | 2/12/2014

    " An interesting account of the development of the polio vaccine by Jonas Salk & his colleagues. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Nancy | 2/9/2014

    " This book was both educational and interesting. I was fascinated by the struggles to find a vacine for polio, also all the politics involved. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Jeff | 2/5/2014

    " Great story about how "soft" human factors can interfere with hard science, even when the motivation is to save children from paralysis. Great read so far. "

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