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Intelligent Love by Marga Vicedo
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Intelligent Love

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Intelligent Love by Marga Vicedo
Paperback $18.95
Apr 05, 2022 | ISBN 9780807055519

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  • Apr 05, 2022 | ISBN 9780807055519

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  • Mar 23, 2021 | ISBN 9780807025628

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Product Details


“[A] thoroughly researched and reported history of autism . . . Expect to boo for the mother-blamers and to cheer for the entire Park family.”

“A philosopher nestles a compassionately crafted, extraordinary family drama within a broader discussion of the contentious, and often shocking, history of autism in the US.”
Shelf Awareness

“This excellent book describes the experience of disability for the child and the parent, with both encountering discrimination and hostility.”
British Society for the History of Medicine

“In this beautifully wrought, meticulously researched story of one mother’s challenge to the medical establishment’s misconceptions about autistic children through much of the 20th century, Marga Vicedo tells an intimate story wrapped inside a much larger one.”
Washington Post

“A beautifully written and carefully reconstructed history of autism in the United States.”
Intellectual History Review

“It is challenging enough to tell a compelling human story, or write original history, or pursue ambitious philosophical goals. In Intelligent Love, Marga Vicedo does all three beautifully.”
Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences

“People who are interested in psychology, psychiatry, and the human sciences more generally can find valuable material in Intelligent Love.”
Medical History

“A synthesis of rigorous historical research and beautifully told biography, moving seamlessly between its two modes, and appealing to historians who work on childhood studies, women’s studies, disability studies, and the history of psychiatry and a wider, lay readership.”
Journal of the History of Medicine

“Vicedo’s book is itself an act of intelligent love: written with heart as well as brain.”
Psychology of Women Quarterly

Intelligent Love is deeply researched.”
Social History of Medicine

“A literary and intellectual tour de force.”
—Peter Galison, author of Einstein’s Clocks, Poincaré’s Maps

“A history of autism told through the eyes of the mother of a child diagnosed as ‘autistic’ in mid-twentieth-century middle-class America. Vicedo’s compelling subject is the tension, even incompatibility, between maternal love and scientific reason that plagues the history of autism. This book is a vehicle for exploring profound questions about the meaning of love, intelligence, and disability in our cultural history.”
—Evelyn Fox Keller, professor emerita, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and author of Making Sense of Life

“A vital book that illustrates the complex and unsettling history of persecution that autistic people and their families have suffered through the ages. Readers will journey from a time when an autistic diagnosis was perceived as a devastation to now, when the neurodiversity movement and the voices of autistic people themselves are finally beginning to drown out the negative medicalized model so long perceived as the norm. Read it; you won’t be disappointed.”
—Emma Dalmayne, CEO of Autistic Inclusive Meets and author of It’s an Autism Thing . . . I’ll Help You Understand It

“Through her engaging reconstruction of the fascinating relationship of Clara Park and her daughter Jessy, Marga Vicedo reveals not only how science affects life but how lives affect science. In the process, she invites us to break down the harmful dichotomies that set ability against disability, good mothers against bad mothers, and logic against love. A compelling and compassionate read.”
—Alexandra Rutherford, professor of psychology, York University, Toronto

“Vicedo reminds us how far our understanding of autism has come. This book is a much welcomed contribution to the worldwide autism literature.”
—Stephen M. Edelson, PhD, executive director, Autism Research Institute

“With sensitivity, Marga Vicedo captures the fierce determination Clara Park brought to her writings and activism that helped reorient diagnoses that targeted mothers as agents of their children’s so-called inadequate psychological development and that inspired parents of other autistic children.”
—Rima D. Apple, author of Perfect Motherhood: Science and Childrearing in America

Table Of Contents


Becoming Clara Park

Autistic Children . . . and Their Mothers

On Trial

Igniting a Revolt

A Mother’s Plea for Intelligent Love

From Culprits to Collaborators

From Custodial Care to Education for Autistic Children

Watercolors On Wet Paper


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