Pulitzer Prize-Winning Historian to Discuss Battle Against Polio

Oct 25, 2008

n the mid-20th century, polio represented a terrible threat to public health, particularly that of the world’s children. Doctors competed in a race for a cure that culminated in Dr. Jonas Salk’s release of his vaccine in 1955.

“Polio: A Look Back at America’s Most Successful Public Health Crusade” will be the topic of a lecture by David M. Oshinsky, Ph.D., Pulitzer Prize-winning historian, on Thursday, Sept. 25. The lecture, offered free of charge and open to the pubic, will take place at 7:30 p.m. in the Patrick & Margaret DeNaples Center.

Dr. Oshinsky’s lecture will focus on the ways in which the polio battle revolutionized philanthropy, medical research and public health. His book, Polio: An American Story, published by Oxford University Press, won the 2006 Pulitzer Prize in history. He will be available to autograph copies of his book brought to the lecture by audience members.

Dr. Oshinsky’s other works include: A Conspiracy So Immense: The World of Joe McCarthy, which won the D.B. Hardeman Prize, given annually for the best book about the U.S. Congress; and Worse Than Slavery: Parchman Farm and the Ordeal of Jim Crow Justice, winner of the Robert Kennedy Prize for its contribution to human rights. He is also a regular contributor to the New York Times, Washington Post, and The Chronicle of Higher Education.

The Jack S. Blanton Chair in American History at the University of Texas, Austin, Dr. Oshinky holds a doctorate from Brandeis University.

This lecture is part of the Distinguished Lecture Series of the Organization of American Historians and is sponsored by The University of Scranton.

For further information, contact Susan L. Poulson, Ph.D., professor of history at The University of Scranton, at (570) 941-7704.

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