A Disability History of the United States

The first book to cover the entirety of disability history, from pre 1492 to the present Disability is not just the story of someone we love or the story of whom we may become rather it is undoubtedly the story of our nation Covering the entirety of US history from pre 1492 to the present, A Disability History of the United States is the first book to place the experiencThe first book to cover the entirety of disability history, from pre 1492 to the present Disability is not just the story of someone we love or the story of whom we may become rather it is undoubtedly the story of our nation Covering the entirety of US history from pre 1492 to the present, A Disability History of the United States is the first book to place the experiences of people with disabilities at the center of the American narrative In many ways, it s a familiar telling In other ways, however, it is a radical repositioning of US history By doing so, the book casts new light on familiar stories, such as slavery and immigration, while breaking ground about the ties between nativism and oralism in the late nineteenth century and the role of ableism in the development of democracy A Disability History of the United States pulls from primary source documents and social histories to retell American history through the eyes, words, and impressions of the people who lived it As historian and disability scholar Nielsen argues, to understand disability history isn t to narrowly focus on a series of individual triumphs but rather to examine mass movements and pivotal daily events through the lens of varied experiences Throughout the book, Nielsen deftly illustrates how concepts of disability have deeply shaped the American experience from deciding who was allowed to immigrate to establishing labor laws and 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 Engrossing and profound, A Disability History of the United States fundamentally reinterprets how we view our nation s past from a stifling master narrative to a shared history that encompasses us all.
A Disability History of the United States The first book to cover the entirety of disability history from pre to the present Disability is not just the story of someone we love or the story of whom we may become rather it is undoubtedly

  • Title: A Disability History of the United States
  • Author: Kim E. Nielsen
  • ISBN: 9780807022047
  • Page: 108
  • Format: Paperback
  • 1 thought on “A Disability History of the United States”

    1. About what you'd expect for a survey of 300+ years that weighs in at under 200 pages. Uneven coverage of different disabilities or types of disabilities and reliant upon secondary sources. I wish it had been organized thematically instead of just chronologically, because the examples within each historical period didn't necessarily hang together just because they occurred at roughly the same time. Also, seemed like Neilsen was trying hard to write for a general audience, but her tone swung betwe [...]

    2. This was a good beginner's primer to the history of disability in the US. I think it was a great choice to add to the library at my work. I appreciated the intersectional analyses of race, class, gender and sexuality that is so often missing from books like this--not that there are many in the first place. I do think that there could have easily been more depth in each chapter, and was a bit disappointed that it ended with the passage of the ADA which was about 25 years ago now; it would have be [...]

    3. A good, VERY general overview of a history of disability in the United States. Nielsen covers 300+ years of history in less than 200 pages. I would love for this to be expanded into a series, since I would gladly read "A Disability History of the United States: 1492-1692" or "A Disability History of the United States: 1950-1990". There's entirely too much content to cover, and much of the material seemed to lean towards physical disabilities.What I found fascinating within the content is once th [...]

    4. Kim Nielsen ditches disability's historiographical tradition of being extracted, and instead reinvents disability as a lens, much like race and gender. While the book is short, and not particularly deep, it is a start to understanding the ways in which the people of America interacted and responded to whatever they took disability to be, which is a step in the right direction.

    5. Every book has its shortcomings. This book is too brief to do much more than provide a very general survey of disability in the U.S. However, it consistently points out the various ways that disability is stratified by race, gender, class, and sexuality throughout U.S. history. And it notes the ways that women, queers, poor people, and people who aren't white (especially black people) have all been defined by wealthy Western European white men as disabled. It also consistently reminds readers th [...]

    6. A Disability History of the United States by Kim E. Nielsen"A Disability History of the United States" is the informative book about the history of the United States through experiences of people with disabilities. It's a story of stigma and pride denied, it's a journey of overcoming special challenges to make oneself at home. Professor of history and author of three books, Kim E. Nielsen takes the reader on an enlightening and often-disregarded history in the United States through the lives of [...]

    7. Kindle Daily Deal | I got this four years ago, when it was a $0.99 deal, and then was never in the mood for it, and not reading it was a mistake. | This was very interesting, covered a broad period (15th century to about 1990), but still had enough detailed stories to feel personalized. The author did a good job of recognizing the way race, class, and gender impacted disability, or even defined disability, at various points in history, and discussed intersectionality not just among those groups [...]

    8. Four stars for being good, scholarly historical work; the fifth star for being interesting, thought-provoking material that broadened my mind and worldview. Be aware that some of the material in here is kind of harsh (eugenics, forced sterilization, murder and abuse of enslaved people, decimation of the Native population).

    9. There's some great information here, but this easily could have been an entire series--so many issues and eras are touched on only for a page or two. Also--this book covers as far as the ADA in 1990 but doesn't mention the Capitol Crawl protest!

    10. The writing is a bit academic when I expected a lot more passion about the history of disability. One thing that hit me with shocking clarity was that historically, the fight included a demand for the right to work and be treated like anyone else. It is ironic given that automation and outsourcing and globalization are removing jobs from our country at such a clip the future of the availability of work is in question leading to a strong argument for universal basic income. I am disabled so I can [...]

    11. I always find it thought-provoking to read these accounts of history from different perspectives and groups that are not typically represented in the writing of historical accounts. This one is decent -- neither groundbreakingly insightful nor off base.

    12. I truly enjoyed reading this book. One of the reasons I enjoyed it was because it is a look at U.S. History in a way not often discussed - by showing how people with disabilities have been affected. Reading about the way people with disabilities were treated did not surprise me, but some things described were rather disturbing. The author does a very good job describing how people with disabilities had to face life throughout the centuries, from before 1492 through present day. She takes the rea [...]

    13. I learned a lot from this book. Most notably, I learned how broadly our nation has defined individuals with disabilities (to include even women and African Americans) in the past, how much this definition has changed over time, and how often our nation used this definition to exclude people from society. The quotes from historical documents, and stories of individual experiences, were both interesting and enlightening.That being said, I was sorely disappointed about how little of the book - less [...]

    14. This was a difficult book, but not for the reasons that one would think.As a non disabled person, I worried about how challenging this book would be to my preconceptions. the one that section that I didn't quite grasp because I'm less familiar with the language of activism and privilege. I found the early sections much more interesting, as they attract how various societies and societal group view people with disabilities and their place in the community. Once we reach the period after World War [...]

    15. This is a reasonable general overview, probably more accurately titled A History of Disability in the United States. If you're looking for a fairly scholarly or detailed history, or something like a critical social history, this isn't it, despite what reviews of the book suggest. Here's one example: Nielsen returns a few times to the way citizenship was conceptualized in terms of capacity or ability, which in turn was constructed in terms of mental or physical ability to be economically producti [...]

    16. I read this book in fits and starts over the course of a few months: it was definitely thought-provoking, and made me think about the socially constructed nature of disability in a way I hadn't before. For instance, the book pointed out that in colonial North American society, able-bodiedness was defined as the capacity to make oneself useful: "One-armed men and women, or those with slight palsies or limps, or those who could not hear could plant fields, mind children, sail, build a barrel or a [...]

    17. This is a good book for people who liked Howard Zinn's People's History of the United States - in some ways it could be seen as supplemental to that book. The early chapters in particular which talked about native communities' view of disability and early Colonial settlers views were very interesting, as were the parts about how industrialization and wars affected how American views on disability were shaped. There were many things I hadn't considered ie the early settlers' attitudes towards com [...]

    18. Great resource for an overview of disability history in the US. Nielsen is always careful to examine the intersections of race, gender, class, and sometimes sexuality in the history of disability, and her overarching point about the construction of disability with respect to worker productivity is a really important one. I would have liked an additional chapter on theory, perhaps connecting with Robert McRuer's argument in Crip Theory that compulsory able-bodiedness and compulsory heterosexualit [...]

    19. I enjoyed reading an overview of colonial and US history from the perspective of people with disability. I myself am disabled. I realized rather quickly how much I had internalized problematic ideas of disability, though this makes sense considering that I was born disabled. which means that I was born into a system that tries to force one to embrace ableist notions in order to receive necessary services. I'm really angry and disappointed that the narrative of those born disabled is largely igno [...]

    20. I won this book as a FirstRead.A Disability History of the United States tells the story of how what is considered disabled and how the disabled are treated has changed, from the Native Americans before Columbus came over to today. The facts are interspersed with individual stories, which keeps the book from being too dry.I really enjoyed learning about the history behind disability and hearing some of the stories behind it. Nielsen obviously did a lot of thorough research for this book and pres [...]

    21. A Disability History of the United States is an engaging overview of the topic. It contains several jaw-dropping ghastly stories of prejudice and segregation and a few wonderful anecdotes of valiant success. The book is rhetorically accessible to the general reader; it isn't targeted to academics or historians. I'm not entirely convinced by all of Ms. Nielsen's hypotheses though. That's not to say her research is questionable. The documented prejudice is unquestionable, but she occasionally sugg [...]

    22. A Disability History is an engrossing read, and an important reminder that history is not just the story of the 'winners' and leaders, or even of the 'ordinary people' but the collective story of every person. As Nielsen tells it, sometimes history is most starkly and accurately read through the eyes of the most disadvantaged in society. Fascinating!I received this book from in exchange for an honest review.

    23. A good introduction to viewing United States' history through the lens of disability. While the latter part of the twentieth century feels a bit rushed, as the development of the ADA is sketched out and implemented, the first half of the book, and its dive into the changing perception of disability through colonization and war, makes this a more than handy tome. Get it from the library, and have your eyes opened about the law and disability.

    24. Excellent, engaging race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and gender and the relationships of these categories to disability. A brief overview, my hope is to bear witness to yet more work on each era. Nielsen helpfully references what published work there is, and leaves us aware that how we approach the varieties of human bodily experience and abilities has been a long journey and still has a ways to go.

    25. This is an interesting view of history through disability. It is wrongly titled with "United States" because it includes pre-Colombian time and Colonial as a significant part of the book and with significant information, so the title might be misleading. Nielsen covers some territory that was new to me, particularly the connection to labor unions and women's rights. I wish she had continued more into modern day, but she speed-up considerably as we approach the ADA.

    26. This is a great resource to read both facts and narrative accounts regarding people with disabilities from the 1400;s to the present. I liked the focus on the intersection of disability, race, and socioeconomic status- a perspective I haven't seen much in the other material like this that I have read. The chapters can be read as stand-alones, too, if readers want information on just a particular time period (though it is more powerful if read chronologically).

    27. "Racism, sexism, classism, heterosexism, and ableism were hard to unlearn - and continued to hinder cross-disability organizing."Chapters reviewing changes in laws since 1950s were the most informative. The book in its entirety was a good overview of how mankind has viewed the concept of disabilities over time.

    28. This book does a good job with intersectionality and bringing new anecdotes and ideas to light, but the language is often problematic. The primary thesis--the changing definition of disability--is sound, but without a grounding in basic disability studies tenants. More later. Don't think I've ever been so conflicted about a book.

    29. This book is interesting and could almost be a story as it goes back before 1492 with the American Indian. It describes how disabilities were something that happened, even back then of course, but who would ever think of that? It describes how the American Indian, and others throughout history , solved the issue in their society.

    30. Even though this book has problems, like it jumps around for instance, I still recommend this book as an introduction into Disability History. At the very least, this book helps one think about using Disability history as an analytical tool.

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