Never the Twain Shall Meet

Bell, Gallaudet, and the Communications Debate

By Richard Winefield

Categories: Deaf Education, Deaf History, Deaf Studies
Imprint: Gallaudet University Press
Paperback : 9781563680564, 129 pages, August 1987
Ebook : 9781563682216, 155 pages, October 2009
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Throughout the last two centuries, a controversial question has plagued the field of education of the deaf: should sign language be used to communicate with and instruct deaf children? Never the Twain Shall Meet focuses on the debate over this question, especially as it was waged in the nineteenth century, when it was at its highest pitch and the battle lines were clearly drawn. In addition to exploring Alexander Graham Bell's and Edward Miner Gallaudet's familial and educational backgrounds, Never the Twain Shall Meet looks at how their views of society affected their philosophies of education and how their work continues to influence the education of deaf students today.


Richard Winefield is executive director of BANANAS, Inc., in Oakland, CA, and an appointee to the California State Advisory Council on Early Learning and Care.



“It’s rare to encounter a university press publication so obviously valuable to both a professional and a general audience.”

— Henry Kisor, Chicago Sun Times

“The principals [Bell and Gallaudet] are brought to life in an engaging fashion, and the book would make interesting reading for almost anyone — highly recommended.”