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Genetics, Disability, and Deafness

John Vickrey Van Cleve, Editor

Now in Paperback!

Read chapter one.
Read reviews: Ragged Edge Magazine, Choice, SIGNews, Disability Studies Quarterly.


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From Ragged Edge Magazine, cont’d.

someone who has lived, written, and died (and whose responses to what I have to say I can therefore at least attempt to fill in) than I am trying to deal with someone face to face (and figuring out how he or she is actually responding to me). I therefore enjoyed Greenwald’s, Murray’s, and Schuchman’s chapters as I was reading them, assuming that they were there to give some idea of how we had arrived at the situation we now find ourselves in. I never doubted their importance, but by the time I had gotten through the science section I was struck by their urgency.

If I were recommending this book to a friend, I would suggest reading Menard and Groce, then jumping ahead to the science section and then back to the history section before carrying on with the discussions about contemporary people and arguments.

Directly after the science comes a set of pieces by Kathleen S. Arnos and Arti Pandya, Anna Middleton, Shifra Kisch, and Mark Willis; the topics being discussed arise from many of the same concerns that become clear in the history section despite the overwhelming differences in the sciences of heredity that inform them. The science is very different, the human attempts to grapple with the science less so.

And then come Krentz and Bérubé, finishing off what Menard and Groce began by putting the intervening essays in perspective as they locate the discussions about deafness within the discussions about disability, and then the discussions about disability within the discussions about genetics.

For a book that arose from a conference and was presumably not carefully structured in advance, Genetics, Disability, and Deafness does seem -- even with the history before the science -- remarkably well-put-together, in large part due to the well-matched opening and closing pairs. The pieces in between, though not as even as a single writer would have made them nor as systematic as an attempt to cover the issue comprehensively might have made them, are not as jarring a collection as sometimes results from a conference, and especially a multidisciplinary conference.

It’s actually a pretty good read, which is not something you can always say about academic books.

John Vickrey Van Cleve is Professor Emeritus of History, Gallaudet University, Washington, DC.

ISBN 978-1-56368-576-7, 6 x 9 paperback, 240 pages, tables, figures, photographs, references, index


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