General Comments :
I am a 30 year resident of Iowa but actually grew up in Illinois,
the suburbs of Chicago. My brother graduated from grammar school
in 1945. One week after his graduation, 8 of the students who
were with him in his class picture came down with polio. Some
cases were severe and left the child permanently damaged; some
were lighter and the child recovered more completely. We, the
younger students, really lost a summer: the pools closed, the
movies were off limits, parents were sensitized to our every
breath. I remember reading a lot. Fall came, life went on, and
polio became a dark memory.
Yesterday, a book group in Dubuque which I attend, discussed
Splendid Solution. One thing that amazed us was the fact
that some of the greater epidemics of polio occurred in the 50's
when most of us were in college. Amazingly, none of us had any
recollection of polio affecting our lives at all in that period.
Maybe our areas were spared, although we were in school all over
the country. Maybe we had just gotten used to its presence every
Our group appreciated the state's choice of this non-fiction
book. Besides being very enjoyable and a remarkably good read, it
informed us and reminded us of experiences we had had. We love
fiction's reality, too, but an attempt at an objective account of
the world around us provoked not just conversation but a healthy
surge of memories.