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Acts of Conscience
World War II, Mental Institutions, and Religious Objectors

Steven J. Taylor

Cloth $45.00    |    978-0-8156-0915-5    |    2009

ebook 978-0-8156-5140-6

Listen to Steve Taylor on NPR, All Things Considered   (mp3, 10 minutes)

"In this important, assiduously researched book, Taylor tells the story of a courageous group of WW II conscientious objectors who worked in state mental institutions and turned to the media to expose the abuses and atrocities they witnessed. The author digs deep into the archives (the book is generously illustrated) and uses interviews with more than a dozen survivors and family members of those institutionalized to illuminate a forgotten and heroic chapter in the history not only of disability issues but also of civil rights. He pursues the politics of deinstitutionalization through the 1960s, including in the discussion the landmark work of Burton Blatt, who exposed the horrors of Willowbrook State School. In a valuable conclusion, Taylor relates history to the present scholarly study of disability studies. Every library should have this extraordinary, vivid history on its shelves."—Choice

"Set your moral compass by this book. Taylor’s curiosity and his outrage have yielded a lucid, compelling, and eminently readable historical narrative."—Simi Linton, author of Claiming Disability: Knowledge and Identity

  Acts of Conscience

  Steven J. Taylor is Centennial Professor of Disability Studies in the School of Education and codirector of the Center on Human Policy, Law, and Disability Studies at Syracuse University. He is the coauthor of In Search of the Promised Land and The Social Meaning of Mental Retardation: Two Life Stories, among other books. His articles have appeared in numerous journals, including Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, and Qualitative Sociology.

Book Description »

View other series books on Critical Perspectives on Disability

7 x 10, 504 pages, 50 black-and-white illustrations, notes, bibliography, index

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