David M. Oshinky's Polio: An American Story

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Judianne Schoenborn History 1301-1302 Prof. Michael Dennis December 7, 2014 Book Review 2: Polio An American Story by David M. Oshinky In the book called Polio: An American Story by David M. Oshinky he tells the story of the race to find a cure for a terrible disease. Polio was a disease in the 1950s that frightened everyone because of its awful symptoms. Oshinky tells the reader about the first recorded case in 1894. Karl Landsteiner was the scientist that put the blood of the boy who died into a monkey to discover the different blood types. Franklin Roosevelt was the president at the time that has diagnosed with Polio. This diagnoses made the whole country terrified and fearful of this disease. Roosevelt fundraised all over the country…show more content…
Oshinky communicates with the reader the struggles of the scientists, people of America, and the different influences involved with the terrible disease and the breakthroughs that proved it to be an “American Story”. Franklin D. Roosevelt, President of the United States at the time was a huge influence. He himself had Polio and the disease was dear to his heart. He wanted to make an impact and save the lives of children around the country and eventually around the world. He founded the Warm Springs Foundation. This was a non-profit organization. It helped children with polio in many ways. On page 69, Oshinky describes it as a place that “provided an opportunity to meet people, undertake joint activities, make friends, date, fall in love… New patients were welcomed into the group. Their handicap did not isolate them form the norm; it was the norm.” Alongside of having a disability, Franklin D. Roosevelt was a major part of politics still. The country was falling into a depression at the time and still FDR stayed calm and stayed strong. On page 76, Herbert Hoover was quoted. He said “I greatly admired the courage with which [Roosevelt] fought his way back to active life and with which he overcame the handicap which had come to him”. Roosevelt became an inspiring person for families suffering through Polio. He had “overcome an illness, not as a cripple with a permanent disability” (Oshinky 77). Another example is that one lady wrote that his life was an answered

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