Books: Non-Fiction

A Disability History of the United States

Book — Non-fiction. By Kim E. Nielsen. 2013. Covering the entirety of US history from pre-1492 to the present, this is the first book to place the experiences of people with disabilities at the center of the American narrative.
Time Periods: All US History
Themes: Civil Rights Movements, Disability, Laws & Citizen Rights

Covering the entirety of U.S. history from pre-1492 to the present, A Disability History of the United States places the experiences of people with disabilities at the center of the American narrative.

Throughout the book, historian and disability scholar Kim E. Nielsen illustrates how concepts of disability have deeply shaped the American experience — from deciding who was allowed to immigrate and establishing labor laws to justifying slavery and gender discrimination. Included are absorbing — at times horrific — narratives of blinded slaves being thrown overboard and women being involuntarily sterilized, as well as triumphant accounts of disabled miners organizing strikes and disability rights activists picketing Washington.

A Disability History of the United States reinterprets how we view a nation’s past: from a stifling master narrative to a shared history that encompasses us all.

The author of three books, including two on Helen Keller and one on Anne Sullivan Macy, Nielsen is a professor of history and women’s studies at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. [Description from the publisher.]

ISBN: 9780807022047 | Published by Beacon Press

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