by Douglas C Baynton, Jack R. Gannon and Jean Lindquist Bergey
Gallaudet University Press, 2007
Review by Christian Perring on Dec 30th 2008
This book is a companion volume to Through Deaf Eyes, the PBS documentary on deaf history and the rise of the deaf community. It is a little over 150 pages long and is full of historical photographs, illustrating the history of deaf people in America and Europe. It starts at the beginning of the nineteenth century with the first attempts to create schools for deaf people. It moves onto the creation of communities of deaf people, and the role of sign language in creating those communities. The book finishes with some of the more recent debates over deafness as a disability and the struggle to get a deaf president of Gallaudet University. It is written by knowledgeable scholars and so has reliable information in it; it takes a point of view very sympathetic to deaf people, but remains neutral on some contemporary controversies. It would be useful to anyone looking for a primer in the rise of education for deaf people and other features of their social treatment. It should be especially useful for high school students in some social studies classes. It has a good index and a useful page of books for further reading.
© 2008 Christian Perring
Christian Perring, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Dowling College, New York.