Polio Across the Iron Curtain (Cambridge, 2018)

Book Launch

Wolfson Room, Institute of Historical Research, London

The Centre for the Study of Internationalism is delighted to team up with the Institute of Historical Research’s Rethinking Modern Europe seminar series for the launch of Dora Vargha’s new book, Polio Across the Iron Curtain: Hungary’s Cold War with an Epidemic (Cambridge University Press, 2018).
We hope you can join us at 5.30pm on Wednesday, 9 January, in the IHR’s Wolfson Room (Institute of Historical Research, North block of Senate House). Dora Vargha‘s presentation will be followed by a commentary from Professor Monika Baar and a drinks reception. No need to book a place, just turn up!

‘Vargha makes a major contribution to historical studies on medicine and the Cold War by examining the fascinating interaction between new local, national and global actors. Her sound interpretations go beyond Hungary and Eastern Europe and illuminate how authority is constructed and contested in the relationship between patients and physicians and the key role of disease control programs in national modernization projects.’ (Marcos Cueto – Casa de Oswaldo Cruz, Fiocruz, Rio de Janeiro).

‘Polio Across the Iron Curtain is a superb study of the significance of disability for state and nation. Vargha’s excellent history of Cold War medicine, technology, and public health reveals interstitial sites of cooperation and exchange in the shadow of the superpowers, thereby offering an important rethinking of the history of global health.’ (Julie Livingston – New York University)

‘Vargha has crafted a brilliant study of disease, the Cold War, and the geopolitics of health at a crucial moment in world affairs as Hungary is pulled between East and West, socialism and capitalism, democracy and autocratic rule. This fascinating, richly-researched study reveals how deeply the national meaning of infantile paralysis was tied to global struggles over the fate of Eastern Europe … An impressive and important study of the Cold War’s impact and legacy on life, death, and health across this contested region.’ (Keith Wailoo – Princeton University, New Jersey).

Polio Across the Iron Curtain is free to download here.