This book relates a truly interesting episode in recent history, and does an outstanding job illustrating how the medical scientific process can really work -- and how public perception can be pretty far out of line with medical reality.
The author's work leaves much to be desired. The book too often focuses annoyingly on useless details, such as whether coffee was served, or where a camera was placed in a lecture hall; yet it skims far too lightly over issues of character: why key people in the story behaved as they did.
I found myself playing the book at 1.5x or ever 2x speed to zoom through portions where unimportant details were conveyed for minutes at a time; yet I was hungry for more about the key players' difficulties, joys, and formative experiences -- and the utterly unexplained motivations for some of the biggest conflicts described.
As a member of the health care team as a pharmacist and one who was a child of the age group most susceptible to Polio during this period in the 1950's, I found this story fascinating. It brought back forgotten memories of that time such as the memory of getting both the Salk vaccine by injection and then later the Sabin vaccine via a sugar cube. I vaguely remember the fear in my parents at that time and the issues in Idaho with some children getting Polio from Cutter's vaccine. Ironically later in my life after pharmacy school, I went to work for Lilly Pharmaceuticals for 26 yrs. During my years with I became aware of Lilly's involvement in Polio vaccines, but I learned much more about their actual role by listening to this audiobook.
if you are a science nerd like me, this is a riveting historical account of one of medicine's great advances... personal tales woven into the public ones which became an international one.
I would recommend this to my friends with the following descriptions: history buffs, vaccine antagonist/protagonist, health care providers, future scientists. Incredible history of FDR and Dr. Salk.
The beginning of the book was incredibly inspiring. Understanding the quirkiness of future Dr. Salk, makes you appreciate differences in others (and yourself) that make you who you are, and quite perfect for the occupation you choose.
This is my first.
Killing a virus, Saving a population.
I must admit, the first couple chapters would have received 5/5 stars as it was quickly becoming a favorite read, however once it became detailed with minutia of lab procedures and politics of lab recognition, the book slowed down drastically. I would still recommend this book to many, but do prepare yourself for the tweaking of details about laboratory procedures. On the other hand, this novel made me appreciate the benefit of a vaccine, in the midst of a society that may hesitate/see only the bad in them.
This book provided a peep-show into the politics, money, and egos that mash against each other in the ivory towers of academic medicine.
From a scientific perspective, there are always inherent risks with medical interventions and vaccinations are no exception. However, this story provides a real world, poignant account of the disease alternative. A must read for all those non-scientist mothers who are choosing to not vaccinate their children.
The complete history of search for a prevention of the childhood plague was fascinating.
The technical editing of the book was absolutely the worst I've ever experience in all the books I've listened to over the last nine years. The last word of every chapter was cut off by the announcement of the next chapter. It was startling and somewhat disconcerting.
It was wonderful to hear the whole history of the Salk Vaccine. As a child, I was told how a brother's playmate contracted Polio or Infantile Paralysis and succumbed to the disease. My brother ran a high fever but recovered quickly. Now I understand what happened to both boys. And I was one of the lucky children who received the vaccine during the testing.
Very close to the top. I've read lots of good books, fiction and nonfiction. This was a remarkable story...well written and an enjoyable listen. Highly recommended.
The description of the press conference when the field study results of the vaccine were released to the public.
He makes the characters come alive. Something not possible when reading.
I read the book whenever I had a chance...in the car, working out in the gym, and at bedtime. One helluva a great book.
Easy to get through over a days drive on 2x speed (iPod). Great story, no annoying narrations. If you enjoy medical history, here is another along the lines of Demon Under the Microscope or Emperor of All Mal.
Avid audiobook addict!
Fantastic story. Narration was a little dry sometimes, but it's history after all not dramatic fiction. Extremely interesting.