This wide-ranging book shows why Paul Longmore is one of the most respected figures in disability studies today. Understanding disability as a major variety of human experience, he urges us to establish it as a category of social, political, and historical analysis in much the same way that race, gender, and class already have been. The essays here search for the often hidden pattern of systemic prejudice and probe into the institutionalized discrimination that affects the one in five Americans with disabilities. Whether writing about the social critic Randolph Bourne, contemporary political activists, or media representations of people with disabilities, Longmore demonstrates that the search for heroes is a key part of the continuing struggle of disabled people to gain a voice and to shape their destinies. His essays on bioethics and public policy examine the conflict of agendas between disability rights activists and non-disabled policy makers, healthcare professionals, euthanasia advocates, and corporate medical bureaucracies. The title essay, which concludes the book, demonstrates the necessity of activism for any disabled person who wants access to the American dream. Paul K. Longmore is Professor of History at San Francisco State University. He is the author of "The Invention of George Washington" and the co-editor (with Lauri Umansky) of "The New Disability History: American Perspectives".
Foreword Robert Dawidoff Introduction Part I: Analyses and Reconstructions 1. Disability Watch 2. The Life of Randolph Bourne and the Need for a History of Disabled People 3. Uncovering the Hidden History of Disabled People 4. The League of the Physically Handicapped and the Great Depression: A Case Study in the New Disability History 5. The Disability Rights Moment: Activism in the 1970s and Beyond Part II: Images and Reflections 6. Film Reviews 7. Screening Stereotypes: Images of Disabled People in Television and Motion Pictures Part III: Ethics and Advocacy 8. Elizabeth Bouvia, Assisted Suicide, and Social Prejudice 9. The Resistance: The Disability Rights Movement and Assisted Suicide 10. Medical Decision Making and People with Disabilities: A Clash of Cultures Part IV: Protests and Forecasts 11. The Second Phase: From Disability Rights to Disability Culture 12. Princeton and Peter Singer 13. Why I Burned My Book Index