A candid, positive portrait of Jonas Salk which begins on the day he woke up unknown and went to bed world-celebrated. His youth is sketched in along with his university days and early marriage: he was a dedicated student but rather unnoticed. He entered professional research in 1942 at the University of Michigan and became an expert on the immunology of influenza. Later he was offered his own virus research program at the University of Pittsburgh, and inevitably his story parallels that of polio research at this time. Salk's eventual contribution was his strenuous reaction against the scientific cant which maintained that only a live virus vaccine offered immunity from polio; chemistry is chemistry, he claimed, and he proved his point. Carter shows Salk totally concerned with saving life and consumed not by research but by ideas. His great work lies ahead, and he has the money, prestige and associates.