Polio and Its Aftermath
The Paralysis of Culture
By (author) Marc Shell
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Polio and Its Aftermath by Marc Shell
Book DescriptionIt was not long ago that scientists proclaimed victory over polio, the dread disease of the 1950s. More recently polio resurfaced, not conquered at all, spreading across the countries of Africa. As we once again face the specter of this discase, along with other killers like AIDS and SARS, this powerful book reminds us of the personal cost, the cultural implications, and the historical significance of one of modern humanity's deadliest biological enemies. In Polio and Its Aftermath Marc Shell, himself a victim of polio, offers an inspired analysis of the disease. Part memoir, part cultural criticism and history, part meditation on the meaning of disease, Shell's work combines the understanding of a medical researcher with the sensitivity of a literary critic. He deftly draws a detailed yet broad picture of the lived experience of a crippling disease as it makes it way into every facet of human existence. Polio and Its Aftermath conveys the widespread panic that struck as the disease swept the world in the mid-fifties. It captures an atmosphere in which polio vied with the Cold War as the greatest cause of unrest in North America - and in which a strange and often debilitating uncertainty was one of the disease's salient but least treatable symptoms. Polio particularly afflicted the young, and Shell explores what this meant to families and communities. And he reveals why, in spite of the worldwide relief that greeted Jonas Salk's vaccine as a miracle of modern science, we have much more to fear from polio now than we know.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780674013155
(242mm x 167mm x 28mm)
Imprint: Harvard University Press
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publish Date: 1-Jul-2005
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Marc Shell
Wampum and the Origins of American Money, Hardback (October 2013)
Reveals wampum's undeniable influence on the cultural, political, and economic foundations of North America.
Multilingual Anthology of American Literature, Paperback (July 2000)
Brings together American writings in diverse languages from Arabic and Spanish to Swedish and Yiddish, among others
Multilingual America, Paperback (August 1998)
Argues that multilingualism is perhaps the most important form of diversity
Economy of Literature, Paperback (September 1993)» View all books by Marc Shell
The author explores how both money and language give "worth" by providing a medium of exchange; how the development of money led to a revolution in philosophical thought and language; and how words transform mere commodities into symbols at once aesthetic and practical.
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Author Biography - Marc Shell
Marc Shell is the Irving Babbitt Professor of Comparative Literature at Harvard University and the editor of American Babel (Harvard).
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