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The Polio Journals

Lessons from My Mother

Anne K. Gross


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Description: Part memoir, part social commentary, The Polio Journals tells the story of Carol Rosenstiel, who contracted the disease in 1927 at the age of two, leaving her permanently paralyzed from the waist down.In the 1920s, society viewed polio as a shameful reflection of the dirty lifestyle of its victims, leading Carol's parents to silence all issues related to their daughter's disability. Pushed by her parents to be exceptional in order to make up for her impairment, Carol became a successful musician, married, and raised two children. Prior to her death in 1985, she broke her silence and poured out her memories in a series of diaries. The Polio Journals explores Carol's inspiring life, probes the changing cultural landscape that impacted her lifelong quest to be accepted by others, and examines the havoc wreaked on families by silencing that which causes shame. From a historical perspective, the book allows readers to see how attitudes toward individuals with disabilities have changed over time. About The Author: Anne K. Gross, Ph.D., received her doctorate in clinical psychology from Duke University, after which she dedicated her career to the treatment of individuals with disabilities and chronic illnesses. Although she now writes full time, her past professional positions include assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center and regional consultant for the Social Security Disability program. She has published over a dozen articles in professional psychology journals as well as essays and editorials in the Denver Post and New Mobility magazine. She and her husband live in Colorado and have two daughters.

Diversity Matters Press, 9780578065915, 294pp.

Publication Date: January 20, 2011