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For much of the twentieth century, polio inspired terror as the 'morning paralysis' which could invade any home and disable or kill a previously healthy person. The cruelty of the disease is epitomised by the iconic images of the crippled child and the iron lung.
This is the story of mankind's struggle against polio, is compelling, exciting and full of twists and pardoxes. One of the grand challenges of modern medicine, it was a battleground between good and bad science. Some research won Nobel Prizes; other work was flawed or fraudulent, holding up progress and endangering patients' lives. Gareth Williams takes an original view of the journey to understanding and defeating polio, exploring the profoundly moving experiences of victims alongside the medical and scientific landmarks in the history of the disease.
Praise for Angel of Death:
'An engaging narrative, in which medical history is interweaved with social history and reflections on contemporary issues' BBC History Magazine
'Wonderful. Wonderfully-researched, vividly-written, an example of medical history at its absolute best.' Michael Neve
GARETH WILLIAMS is Professor of Medicine and former Dean of Faculty at the University of Bristol, UK. He has written or co-authored over 20 books, including the Textbook of Diabetes (BMA Book of the Year, 1997) and has contributed to more than 30 others, including the Oxford Textbook of Medicine. Inspired by the life of Edward Jenner, Gareth wrote Angel of Death: The Story of Smallpox, which was shortlisted for the Wellcome Trust Book Prize in 2010.