While important to disability historians, the name Pennhurst is almost unknown to those who study mainstream American history. The editors of Pennhurst and the Struggle for Disability Rights seek to address this oversight as this volume explains the importance of Pennhurst State School and Hospital to “one of the great, if unrecognized, freedom struggles of the twentieth century” (8). In mid-twentieth century America, over two hundred thousand Americans labeled as mentally retarded were warehoused in institutions like Pennhurst, euphemistically titled schools or asylums or hospitals. By the turn of the twenty-first century, that number had dropped precipitously, most of the facilities were closed or significantly downsized, and former institutional residents were now living and often thriving in their own communities. Much of this transition from institution to community had to do with the battles fought in the court system by Pennhurst residents, their relatives, caregivers, and advocates. Two major lawsuits...
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Book Review| May 01 2022
Review: Pennhurst and the Struggle for Disability Rights, edited by Dennis B. Downey and James W. Conroy
Pennhurst and the Struggle for Disability Rightsedited by Dennis B. Downey and James W. Conroy.
University Park, PA:
Penn State University Press,
2020. xvii + 269 pp.; 34 b&w illustrations, index; clothbound, $35.00, eBook, $15.65.
The Public Historian (2022) 44 (2): 140–143.
Steven Noll; Review: Pennhurst and the Struggle for Disability Rights, edited by Dennis B. Downey and James W. Conroy. The Public Historian 1 May 2022; 44 (2): 140–143. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/tph.2022.44.2.140
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