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As a fourteen-year-old boy from a small Midwestern town, Charles Mee believed in God, family, and his future, which, at the very least, included girls and a long spell as a hometown football hero. But when he collapsed one night at a school dance, his dreams began to vanish. In a narrative at once funny and profound, Mee brilliantly captures the era in which polio, not communism, was every American parent’s nightmare. Unraveling the mysteries of his own Cold War youth, Mee gives voice both to the child with a potentially fatal disease and to the man whose recognition of himself as a disabled outsider has served to heighten his gifts as a storyteller.