We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
 >   > 
Polio Audiobook

Polio: An American Story

Regular Price:$41.97
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Publisher's Summary

Pulitzer Prize, History, 2006

This comprehensive and gripping narrative covers all the challenges, characters, and controversies in America's relentless struggle against polio. Funded by philanthropy and grassroots contributions, Salk's killed-virus vaccine (1954) and Sabin's live-virus vaccine (1961) began to eradicate this dreaded disease.

Author David M. Oshinsky, a multiple New York Times Notable Book winner and University of Texas professor, is a leading American political and cultural historian.

©2005 David M. Oshinsky; (P)2007 Recorded Books

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (271 )
5 star
 (126)
4 star
 (98)
3 star
 (36)
2 star
 (7)
1 star
 (4)
Overall
4.4 (147 )
5 star
 (81)
4 star
 (44)
3 star
 (19)
2 star
 (2)
1 star
 (1)
Story
4.3 (146 )
5 star
 (80)
4 star
 (45)
3 star
 (16)
2 star
 (2)
1 star
 (3)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Amazon Customer Arkansas 10-02-07
    Amazon Customer Arkansas 10-02-07 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    441
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    81
    33
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    5
    0
    Overall
    "Memorable History"

    The Pulitzer Prize for history 2006, it is life and times of those involved and their legacy to American culture, science, and medicine, warts and all. The petty behaviors as well as the great accomplishments are given diligent study. I can highly recommend this to any interested in American history of twentieth century. Discussion of the disease itself and the science involved in the development of the vaccines is secondary to the story. If you enjoyed Thomas Hager's Demon Under the Microscope, or John Berry's The Great Influenza, you will like this.

    Jonathan Hogan's narration is good but not memorable, of course the book does not lend itself to acting skills.

    15 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patti Chittenango, NY, United States 07-22-08
    Patti Chittenango, NY, United States 07-22-08 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    783
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    566
    311
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    61
    0
    Overall
    "Wonderful"

    I remember so many of these events that it almost makes me feel old. Yet as an acknowledgement of this story as history, it does cover one hundred years. So I shouldn't feel too old. :-) My mother campaigned to get a municipal pool built in order to stop the spread of polio. There is a plague commemorating her efforts on that pool today. I work with someone who was diagnosed with Post-polio syndrome.

    Enough of my reminiscences... this book is just wonderful. It is anything but a dry history story. Nor is it a dry medical text. But admittingly, it is not a novel either, although it reads much like one in several areas.

    Through this book you will learn about this disease, about philanthropic crusades, about research and ethics, and about the people intimatley involved in it all. The truth of this story is all told so well and narrated just as it should be.

    I usually listen only in the car. But for this title, I found myself listening every time I was alone in the house as well. And I was just as sad when this book ended as I have been with some of my favorite novels. This is well worth the purchase.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Locust Grove VA, United States 07-28-15
    Amazon Customer Locust Grove VA, United States 07-28-15 Member Since 2012

    I read non-fiction almost exclusively

    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    9
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I was part of this story!"

    Having been in one of the test groups, it was very interesting to read the back-story.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nina S-G 02-09-17
    Nina S-G 02-09-17 Member Since 2016

    Retired law enforcement officer with a love of learning what makes us all tick. Never met a mystery I didn't like!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    16
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    152
    41
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Ambitious Medical Historical"

    This ambitious medical historical managed to keep the human element of the story in the forefront. The narrator was scholarly, but never boring. I always appreciate the opportunity to continue learning about medical history, as the retrospective gives me background for making my personal medical choices in todays quickly evolving world of medical choices.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda Eagle, ID, United States 09-17-13
    Linda Eagle, ID, United States 09-17-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    117
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Told the American Polio story as never before."
    What did you love best about Polio?

    As one of the children receiving either the shots in 1954 or 1955 and knowing first-hand the hard decisions my father made each summer as to whether my sister and I would be allowed to swim, I found this book to be one of the best non-fiction offerings I have read in a long time. It is so good and so filled with facts that I am leaving it on my iTouch so as to give it another read next month.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. 10-21-11
    S. 10-21-11 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    151
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    349
    108
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    11
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great story -"

    This is a fascinating story - and while it is a bit long, I was enthralled by the story. The narrator was "C" grade, but the story is compelling and worth every minute.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda Saratoga Springs, NY, USA 08-21-07
    Linda Saratoga Springs, NY, USA 08-21-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Wonderful health history!"

    I thoroughly enjoyed this intriguing book! We should never forget the endelible mark that has been left on our past from this disease!

    5 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    william Story 06-02-17 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    26
    6
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very enlightening book, even though I had Polio when I was six years old."

    I now live with the effects of polio and losing strength. I am now 70 8 years old and even though I live with my family. I'm afraid I'm going to end up in a nursing home. And that just as well b death.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mimi Roeau New England 05-01-17
    Mimi Roeau New England 05-01-17 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    35
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Enjoyable and comprehensive"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would definitely recommend this to fellow nonfiction enjoyers. It is long and not quite as enjoyable as Bellevue (another book by David Oshinsky), but the level of detail and quality of storytelling is the same.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jim Braunstein Levittown, NY United States 02-24-17
    Jim Braunstein Levittown, NY United States 02-24-17 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    40
    17
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "More interesting than I expected"

    This book was far more interesting than I expected. I listened to it as a follow up to Mr.Oshinsky's latest book "Bellevue: Three Centuries of Medicine and Mayhem at America's Most Storied Hospital". Though i didn't find it quite as fascinating as the Bellevue book, this was a well written, fascinating story about a truly frightening disease, the politics of medicine and reminds the reader of a disease that today we care very little about but not all that long ago gripped the US and much of the world in terror for over 40 years.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.