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The New Disability History : American Perspectives - Paul K. Longmore

The New Disability History

American Perspectives

By: Paul K. Longmore (Editor), Lauri Umansky (Editor)

Hardcover Published: 1st March 2001
ISBN: 9780814785638
Number Of Pages: 422

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Disability has always been a preoccupation of American society and culture. From antebellum debates about qualification for citizenship to current controversies over access and "reasonable accommodations," disability has been present, in penumbra if not in print, on virtually every page of American history. Yet historians have only recently begun the deep excavation necessary to retrieve lives shrouded in religious, then medical, and always deep-seated cultural, misunderstanding.

This volume opens up disability's hidden history. In these pages, a North Carolina Youth finds his identity as a deaf Southerner challenged in Civil War-era New York. Deaf community leaders ardently defend sign language in early 20th century America. The mythic Helen Keller and the long-forgotten American Blind People's higher Education and General Improvement Association each struggle to shape public and private roles for blind Americans. White and black disabled World War I and II veterans contest public policies and cultural values to claim their citizenship rights. Neurasthenic Alice James and injured turn-of-the-century railroadmen grapple with the interplay of disability and gender. Progressive-era "rehabilitationists" fashion programs to make "crippled" children economically productive and socially valid, and two Depression-era fathers murder their sons as public opinion blames the boys' mothers for having cherished the lads' lives. These and many other figures lead readers through hospital-schools, courtrooms, advocacy journals, and beyond to discover disability's past.

Coupling empirical evidence with the interdisciplinary tools and insights of disability studies, the book explores the complex meanings of disability as identity and cultural signifier in American history.

Table of Contents

Industry Reviews

"With this work, Longmore and Umansky offer historians, sociologists and other readers intrigued by this area of scholarship an opportunity to understand disabilities as broader and more complex than a single, generic and primarily medical category."--Publishers Weekly

1 Disability and the Justification of Inequality in

American History 33

2"Speech Has an Extraordinary Humanizing Power":

Horace Mann and the Problem of Nineteenth-Century

American Deaf Education 58

3"This Unnatural and Fratricidal Strife": A Family's

Negotiation of the Civil War, Deafness, and Independence 83

4"Trying to Idle": Work and Disability in The Diary of Alice James 107

5A Pupil and a Patient: Hospital-Schools in

Progressive America 133

6Cold Charity: Manhood, Brotherhood, and the

Transformation of Disability, 1870-1900 157

7The Outlook of The Problem and the Problem with the Outlook:

Two Advocacy Journals Reinvent Blind People in

Turn-of-the-Century America 187

8Reading between the Signs: Defending Deaf Culture in

Early Twentieth-Century America 214

9Medicine, Bureaucracy, and Social Welfare: The Politics of

Disability Compensation for American Veterans of

World War I 236

10Helen Keller and the Politics of Civic Fitness 268

11Martyred Mothers and Merciful Fathers: Exploring Disability

and Motherhood in the Lives of Jerome Greenfield and

Raymond Repouille 293

ISBN: 9780814785638
ISBN-10: 0814785638
Series: History of Disability
Audience: General
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 422
Published: 1st March 2001
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.86 x 15.24  x 2.69
Weight (kg): 0.68

Earn 222 Qantas Points
on this Book