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"Will have an enthusiastic audience among historians of medicine who are familiar, for the most part, only with later twentieth-century efforts to combat polio." --Allan M. Brandt, University of North Carolina Dirt and Disease is a social, cultural, and medical history of the polio epidemic in the United States. Naomi Rogers focuses on the early years from 1900 to 1920, an "Will have an enthusiastic audience among historians of medicine who are familiar, for the most part, only with later twentieth-century efforts to combat polio." --Allan M. Brandt, University of North Carolina Dirt and Disease is a social, cultural, and medical history of the polio epidemic in the United States. Naomi Rogers focuses on the early years from 1900 to 1920, and continues the story to the present. She explores how scientists, physicians, patients, and their families explained the appearance and spread of polio and how they tried to cope with it. Rogers frames this study of polio within a set of larger questions about health and disease in twentieth-century American culture. In the early decades of this century, scientists sought to understand the nature of polio. They found that it was caused by a virus, and that it could often be diagnosed by analyzing spinal fluid. Although scientific information about polio was understood and accepted, it was not always definitive. This knowledge coexisted with traditional notions about disease and medicine. Polio struck wealthy and middle-class children as well as the poor. But experts and public health officials nonetheless blamed polio on a filthy urban environment, bad hygiene, and poverty. This allowed them to hold slum-dwelling immigrants responsible, and to believe that sanitary education and quarantines could lessen the spread of the disease. Even when experts acknowledged that polio struck the middle-class and native-born as well as immigrants, they tried to explain this away by blaming the fly for the spread of polio. Flies could land indiscriminately on the rich and the poor. In the 1930s, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt helped to recast the image of polio and to remove its stigma. No one could ignore the cross-spread of the disease. By the 1950s, the public was looking to science for prevention and therapy. But Rogers reminds us that the recent history of polio was more than the history of successful vaccines. She points to competing therapies, research tangents, and people who died from early vaccine trials. Naomi Rogers is an assistant professor of history at the University of Alabama.


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"Will have an enthusiastic audience among historians of medicine who are familiar, for the most part, only with later twentieth-century efforts to combat polio." --Allan M. Brandt, University of North Carolina Dirt and Disease is a social, cultural, and medical history of the polio epidemic in the United States. Naomi Rogers focuses on the early years from 1900 to 1920, an "Will have an enthusiastic audience among historians of medicine who are familiar, for the most part, only with later twentieth-century efforts to combat polio." --Allan M. Brandt, University of North Carolina Dirt and Disease is a social, cultural, and medical history of the polio epidemic in the United States. Naomi Rogers focuses on the early years from 1900 to 1920, and continues the story to the present. She explores how scientists, physicians, patients, and their families explained the appearance and spread of polio and how they tried to cope with it. Rogers frames this study of polio within a set of larger questions about health and disease in twentieth-century American culture. In the early decades of this century, scientists sought to understand the nature of polio. They found that it was caused by a virus, and that it could often be diagnosed by analyzing spinal fluid. Although scientific information about polio was understood and accepted, it was not always definitive. This knowledge coexisted with traditional notions about disease and medicine. Polio struck wealthy and middle-class children as well as the poor. But experts and public health officials nonetheless blamed polio on a filthy urban environment, bad hygiene, and poverty. This allowed them to hold slum-dwelling immigrants responsible, and to believe that sanitary education and quarantines could lessen the spread of the disease. Even when experts acknowledged that polio struck the middle-class and native-born as well as immigrants, they tried to explain this away by blaming the fly for the spread of polio. Flies could land indiscriminately on the rich and the poor. In the 1930s, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt helped to recast the image of polio and to remove its stigma. No one could ignore the cross-spread of the disease. By the 1950s, the public was looking to science for prevention and therapy. But Rogers reminds us that the recent history of polio was more than the history of successful vaccines. She points to competing therapies, research tangents, and people who died from early vaccine trials. Naomi Rogers is an assistant professor of history at the University of Alabama.

37 review for Dirt And Disease: Polio Before F.D.R.

  1. 5 out of 5

    Meghan

    There were a lot of contradictory claims and repetition. Speaking of Salk in the present text, the book is quite outdated. Now there are many sources that talk about the cultural aspect of polio and the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis. Probably a good choice for the 1980’s but not for today. One positive was that Rogers explained why she chose each of the sources she used.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Kriss Loughman

  3. 4 out of 5

    K.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Julia Debruicker

  5. 4 out of 5

    Leah

  6. 5 out of 5

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    Marcy Graybill

  8. 4 out of 5

    Tom

  9. 5 out of 5

    Ema Jones

  10. 4 out of 5

    Leslie

  11. 5 out of 5

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  12. 5 out of 5

    Forrest Maready

  13. 4 out of 5

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  14. 4 out of 5

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  15. 5 out of 5

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  16. 4 out of 5

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  17. 5 out of 5

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  18. 4 out of 5

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  19. 4 out of 5

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  20. 4 out of 5

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  21. 5 out of 5

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  22. 4 out of 5

    Sindhu Babu

  23. 5 out of 5

    Nastya-22

  24. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Frazier

  25. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

  26. 5 out of 5

    Priya Buldeo

  27. 4 out of 5

    Victor Procure

  28. 4 out of 5

    Sofia

  29. 4 out of 5

    Rohit Saha

  30. 4 out of 5

    South Campus Library

  31. 4 out of 5

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  32. 4 out of 5

    Katmarren

  33. 4 out of 5

    Karan Malhotra

  34. 4 out of 5

    Ngaio

  35. 4 out of 5

    Chrissy

  36. 4 out of 5

    Genevieve Labahn

  37. 4 out of 5

    Projectlib

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