Gould, Tony 1938–

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Gould, Tony 1938–

PERSONAL: Born 1938, in Devon, England; married. Education: Attended Trinity College, Cambridge.

ADDRESSES: Agent—Deborah Rogers, Rogers, Coleridge & White, 20 Powis Mews, London W11 1JN, England. E-mail[email protected].

CAREER: British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), London, England, radio producer; New Statesman (became New Statesman & Society), London, literary editor. Served on Literature Panel of the Arts Council of Great Britain, 1994–98; University College, London, fellow, 2001–02, associate fellow, 2002–03. Military service: British Army, served in Malaya, India, and Hong Kong.

AWARDS, HONORS: Silver Pen Award, PEN, 1984, for Inside Outsider: The Life and Times of Colin MacInnes.


(With Joe Kenyon) Stories from the Dole Queue, photographs by Fay Godwin, Maurice Temple Smith Ltd. (London, England), 1972.

In Limbo: The Story of Stanley's Rear Column, Hamish Hamilton (London, England), 1979.

Inside Outsider: The Life and Times of Colin MacInnes, Chatto & Windus (London, England), 1983, reprinted, Allison & Busby (London, England), 1993.

(Editor) Colin MacInnes, Absolute MacInnes: The Best of Colin MacInnes, Allison & Busby (London, England), 1985.

Death in Chile: A Memoir and a Journey (memoir), Pan Books (London, England), 1992.

A Summer Plague: Polio and Its Survivors, Yale University Press (New Haven, CT), 1995.

Imperial Warriors: Britain and the Gurkhas (memoir), Granta Books (London, England), 1999.

A Disease Apart: Leprosy in the Modern World, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 2005, published as Don't Fence Me In: Leprosy in Modern Times, Bloomsbury (London, England), 2005.

Contributor to and reviewer for periodicals, including Spectator, Independent, and Times Literary Supplement; contributor of introductions to books by others.

SIDELIGHTS: British writer Tony Gould has written a number of books, including A Summer Plague: Polio and Its Survivors, to which he brings his own perspective as a victim of poliomyelitis. Gould was stricken at age twenty while serving in the British army, forcing him to give up his intended career. Instead he became a literary editor for New Statesman & Society. In A Summer Plague Gould writes briefly of his own illness, but also concentrates on the history of the disease and how others have coped.

Gould studies polio in the twentieth century through the 1960s, including the epidemics of the 1940s and 1950s. The first serious outbreak in 1916 left New York particularly hard hit, and Italian immigrants were blamed for polio's spread. Although polio has been conquered in the United States, the World Health Organization (WHO) continues its program to immunize children in undeveloped countries where public health services are often substandard.

As Gould notes in his book, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt contracted polio, and served as an inspiration to many in the United States and world-wide. He converted a resort in Warm Springs, Georgia, into a hydrotherapy center where he and other polio sufferers could enjoy the benefits of the waters. In 1937 Roosevelt founded the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis (now the March of Dimes). The fundraising begun by Roosevelt attracted generous donations, in part because of a poster depicting a small child leaning on a crutch. After Roosevelt's death his former law partner, Basil O'Connor, assumed responsibility for leading the organization and its search for an effective vaccine. Gould documents the development of Jonas Salk's killed-virus vaccine and the more effective live-virus vaccine of Albert Sabin.

Polio victims who contracted the disease before the vaccines became available were treated in a number of ways, including through the use of the iron lung. Sister Elizabeth Kenny worked with patients in Australia, removing their splints and working their withered limbs with hot boiled wool and exercise. She came to the United States in 1940, where her innovative treatments caused her to become nearly as well-known as Eleanor Roosevelt, the president's wife, who was also a champion of polio victims.

Bill Inman noted in the British Medical Journal that Gould is unable to provide thorough information about the health effects being experienced by polio victims in their later years because there is little funding to study a disease that has been controlled. Nevertheless, Inman concluded that "Gould is not a doctor and his book is all the better for it. He asks the right questions and he challenges the profession to answer them."

Gould has also written Imperial Warriors: Britain and the Gurkhas, a memoir and history of the role of the Gurkhas in imperial and post-imperial British history. Edward M. Spiers wrote in the English Historical Review that Gould, who served with this regiment, "has sought to place his study in the context of British and Nepalese history, and to explore a relationship based more upon mutual self-interest and calculation than amity."

In A Disease Apart: Leprosy in the Modern World, Gould studies the illness also known as Hansen's disease as it affected patients through the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. He writes that as late as the mid-twentieth century, leprosy sufferers were isolated for life; only recently has the belief that they need to be placed in leper colonies been challenged. The disfiguring disease that results in the loss of fingers, toes, and limbs because of the absence of the sensation of pain is ancient and mentioned in the Bible. Leprosy continues to strike people in the Third World, and no vaccine is yet available. Gould profiles doctors and others who have devoted their lives to treating and caring for lepers, including some, like Father Damian, who eventually contracted the disease and died. Damian cared for patients in a colony on Molokai, Hawaii, until he succumbed to the disease in 1889. A more recent pioneer is Stanley Stein, a Texas pharmacist who spent decades, beginning in 1931, in a Carville, Louisiana, sanatorium. A Kirkus Reviews contributor noted that he "became a powerful advocate" and "built a sense of community among his fellow inmates, challenged Americans' ignorant fears and won admirers."

Seamus Sweeney, reviewing the book for the London's Guardian Online, wrote that "writing in a lively, engaging style capable of encompassing the intricacies of medical politics, he [Gould] gives a real sense of what it meant to be a patient with leprosy well into the 20th century—the feeling of being an outcast, something otherworldly and not quite human." Gould notes that although the WHO hoped 2005 would be the year when leprosy would be eliminated, several hundred new cases a year continue to appear in such countries as India, Indonesia, Nepal, and sub-Saharan Africa. As Sweeney notes, "Gould writes that many leprosy workers are highly suspicious of the 'elimination' enterprise, worrying that the WHO's grandiloquent goal is more about meeting targets than the welfare of those who have this misunderstood condition."



Gould, Tony, Death in Chile: A Memoir and a Journey, Pan Books (London, England), 1992.

Gould, Tony, Imperial Warriors: Britain and the Gurkhas, Granta Books (London, England), 1999.


Booklist, August, 2005, Donna Chavez, review of A Disease Apart: Leprosy in the Modern World, p. 1978.

British Medical Journal, June 10, 1995, Bill Inman, review of A Summer Plague: Polio and Its Survivors, p. 1545.

English Historical Review, June, 2000, Edward M. Spiers, review of Imperial Warriors: Britain and the Gurkhas, p. 753.

Kirkus Reviews, July 1, 2005, review of A Disease Apart, p. 718.

Lancet, October 21, 1995, Peter A. Patriarca, review of A Summer Plague, p. 1087.

Nation, October 6, 1997, Bell Gale Chevigny, review of A Summer Plague, p. 39.

New Republic, October 16, 1995, Sherwin B. Nuland, review of A Summer Plague, p. 47.

New Statesman, May 5, 1995, Virginia Beardshaw, review of A Summer Plague, p. 44.


Guardian Online, http://books.guardian.co.uk/ (February 5, 2005), Seamus Sweeney, review of Don't Fence Me In: Leprosy in Modern Times.

Royal Literary Fund Web site, http://www.rlf.org.uk/ (December 3, 2005), profile of Gould.