HISTORY: ‘Polio: An American Story,’ by David M. Oshinsky
Mr. Oshinsky, 61, is George Littlefield professor of history at the University of Texas at Austin. His history weaves together several stories: the bitter race between Drs. Jonas Salk and Albert Sabin to find a vaccine, the role of Franklin D. Roosevelt in financing a cure and the profound effect of the March of Dimes campaign. “It was a shining moment of American volunteerism,” Mr. Oshinsky said. “It really revolutionized the way we do medical research and philanthropy in the United States.” “The genius of the March of Dimes was to turn it into America’s disease,” he said, citing modern advertising techniques, poster children and celebrities.
The Times also includes summaries of the Pulitzer Prize winners for 2004 and 2005. The latter link includes the following blurb for 2005 History prize winner, Washington’s Crossing by David Hackett Fischer, which is now out in paperback.
HISTORY: ‘Washington’s Crossing,’ by David Hackett Fischer
Mr. Fischer, 69, is Warren professor of history at Brandeis University. In “Washington’s Crossing,” he shows how a despairing American army refused to surrender during the darker moments of the Revolution. Reached at his home in Wayland, Mass., Mr. Fischer said he believed that his book presented a complex look at the general. “My Washington was a figure who took me very much by surprise,” he said. “What he did was bring together the values of the American Revolution with the conducting of the war.”