“At last: a truly inclusive history. This groundbreaking book braids together the history every American knows with the history most Americans have never even imagined—and our society has long forgotten. Fascinating, enlightening, absorbing, well-researched, and concise, A Disability History of the United States isn’t just the book I wish I’d read in school. It’s the book I’d encourage every American to read.”
—Rachel Simon, author of The Story of Beautiful Girl and Riding The Bus With My Sister
“This brave book is full of surprises; a page-turner that tells a story I had not known. In every chapter there is at least one episode that made me shiver. Read it for Kim Nielsen’s fresh interpretations, read it for her wisdom. U.S. history will not look the same.”
—Linda K. Kerber, author of No Constitutional Right to Be Ladies
“Path-breaking, meticulously researched, and drawing on a stunning array of sources, A Disability History of the United States fundamentally changes our understanding of the nation’s past. I was amazed by Kim Nielsen’s ability to convey a richly peopled history while still detailing a national experience. Disability, Nielsen reminds us, is beautifully and inextricably entangled with all the other forces that shape identities and communities. This remarkable ‘peoples’ story’ stretches the chronological, analytical, and thematic borders of U.S. and disability history. Everyone interested in U.S. and disability histories will benefit from reading this book.”
—Susan Burch, author of Signs of Resistance
“A wonderful, beautifully written, remarkable achievement that will certainly become a classic within the field and should become standard reading.”
—Michael A. Rembis, Director, Center for Disability Studies, University at Buffalo
“By displacing the able-bodied, self-subsisting individual citizen as the basic unit (and implied beneficiary) of the American experience, she compels the reader to reconsider how we understand personal dignity, public life, and the common good.”
—Inside Higher Ed.
"A scholarly yet stirring narrative of our nation’s uneasy relations—part pity and empathy, part discrimination and social stigmatization—with disabled people.”
“Nielsen excavates the long-buried history of physical difference in America and shows how disability has been a significant factor in the formation of democratic values…The range of this book is marvelous.”
—The Wilson Quarterly
“I think you’ll like this book, too, especially if you’re an advocate, a student of history, or just looking for a different angle on American society. For you, A Disability History of the United States is a book you can’t afford to miss.”
—The Price County Daily
The author of three books, including two on Helen Keller and one on Anne Sullivan Macy, Kim E. Nielsen is a professor of history and women’s studies at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. She lives in Green Bay.