Skip to Main Content (Press Enter)
A Disability History of the United States by Kim E. Nielsen
Add A Disability History of the United States to bookshelf
Add to Bookshelf
A Disability History of the United States by Kim E. Nielsen
Paperback $17.95
Oct 01, 2013 | ISBN 9780807022047

Buy from Other Retailers:

See All Formats (1) +
  • $17.95

    Oct 01, 2013 | ISBN 9780807022047

    Buy from Other Retailers:

  • Oct 02, 2012 | ISBN 9780807022030

    Buy from Other Retailers:

Product Details


“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

Table Of Contents


The spirit chooses the body it will occupy:Indigenous North America, Pre-1492

The poor, vicious, and infirm:Colonial Communities, 1492–1700

The miserable wretches were then thrown into the sea:The Late Colonial Era, 1700–1776

The deviant and the dependent:Creating Citizens, 1776–1865

I am disabled, and must go atsomething else besides hard labor: The Institutionalization of Disability, 1865–1890

Three generations of imbeciles are enough:The Progressive Era, 1890–1927

We don’t want tin cups:Laying the Groundwork, 1927–1968

I guess I’m an activist. I think it’s just caring:Rights and Rights Denied, 1968–





Looking for More Great Reads?
21 Books You’ve Been Meaning to Read
Back to Top