Gallaudet University Press

6:8 Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Larger Than Life

The Story of America's First Deaf Pioneer

Author Harry G. Lang’s new book Edmund Booth: Deaf Pioneer follows the amazing career of Edmund Booth and his equally amazing wife, Mary Ann Walworth Booth, in fascinating detail. In the preface, Lang describes Booth as a “Renaissance man, a farm boy who grew up to distinguish himself as a journalist, educator, and founder of schools and organizations. He stood nearly 6 feet 3 inches tall, wore a long full beard, and weighed more than 210 pounds. He was a brawny adventurer whose life spanned almost the entire nineteenth century—94 years, 7 months, and 5 days. He was also profoundly deaf, as well as blind in one eye, and he possessed ‘the soul of a pioneer and a spirit restless for freedom and independence.’”

Lang also shares his inspiration for writing about this larger-than-life man, stating, “The present book interprets his life as a whole and includes additional material written by Edmund as well as the reminiscences of his children. Edmund’s accomplishments are examined in depth, and Mary Ann’s contributions and perspectives are also illuminated. To highlight Edmund’s account of the trip across the country during the great California Gold Rush, portions of his journal have been included, some verbatim, others paraphrased to provide a more readable text. The summary of his early and later years has been condensed from Edmund’s autobiographical notes written after he was 75 years old. Combined with the reminiscences of his children, Edmund’s reflections provide an enthralling mosaic of the life of a nineteenth-century deaf couple living on the frontier with three hearing children.”

Read chapter five, “The Making of a Forty-Niner”, and learn more about this American original and the pioneer days as seen through Deaf eyes. And, by using your exclusive subscriber discount, you can save 20% off the regular price when you order Edmund Booth: Deaf Pioneer today.

The Study of Signed Languages: Essays in Honor of William C. Stokoe, a tribute to the late Stokoe, earned the endorsement of the Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education in a recent issue: “...this book is a most interesting collection and one that is important reading for all people interested in linguistics generally, for Deaf people, for their friends and colleagues, and for anyone interested in a unique aspect of the human condition.” The Study of Signed Languages contains papers from scholars who explore the historical perspectives, language origins, and diverse populations considered in the study of signed languages worldwide. Edited by David F. Armstrong (Original Signs), Michael A. Karchmer (Context, Cognition, and Deafness), and John Vickrey Van Cleve (A Place of Their Own, Deaf History Unveiled, Genetics, Disability, and Deafness), this volume demonstrates the enormous range of influence exercised by Stokoe and serves as fitting recognition of him and his work. Read the full review and the preface, and order The Study of Signed Languages.

SIGNews, a newspaper for the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing communities, highlighted Mark Rigney’s Deaf Side Story: Deaf Sharks, Hearing Jets, and a Classic American Musical, noting,  “The best thing for deaf readers is how Deaf Side Story explains in depth the intricacies of musicals: the lyrics, the music, the dancing, the acting. The deaf-related material for hearing readers covers enough ground to help them appreciate basic points. The book is ideal reading for both deaf and hearing theater-lovers.” The complete review is available online. In Deaf Side Story, author Mark Rigney succinctly depicts the progress of one college’s production of the 1957 classic American musical West Side Story, from the clashes between the deaf high school cast members and their hearing counterparts to the final production. To learn more about how these two vastly different worlds blended to perform a classic American art form brilliantly together, read the Prologue and order Deaf Side Story.

The early-bird registration date for Narrating Deaf Lives: Biography, Autobiography, and Documentary, Gallaudet University Press Institute’s fourth international conference, is September 1, 2004. The conference will be held on November 3-5, 2004, at the Kellogg Conference Hotel at Gallaudet University, Washington, D.C. Save 10% off the regular registration fee of $250 by registering now! For more information, go online to http://gupress.gallaudet.edu/gupiconference/index.html.

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