The author, a professional writer not of the medical profession, has undertaken to write a biography of the disease. In this task he has succeeded with a measure of scientific and historical accuracy which reflects due attention to source material. The opening chapter describes the epidemic of 1916 from the point of view of the bewildered layman in those troubled times. If contemporary newspaper accounts, which are freely quoted, offer a true picture of the public's concept of poliomyelitis a generation ago, then indeed we have come a long way on the road to understanding, and it is highly appropriate that the landmarks be listed and the direction of future progress mapped.
Succeeding chapters deal with early investigators, from Heine, Medin and Wickman up to Landsteiner, Kling and Flexner; with the experimental transmission of poliomyelitis to laboratory animals; with successive attempts to check the disease by nasal spray or prophylactic