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The Education of Laura Bridgman: First Deaf and Blind Person to Learn Language

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In the mid-nineteenth century, Laura Bridgman, a young child from New Hampshire, became one of the most famous women in the world. Philosophers, theologians, and educators hailed her as a miracle, and a vast public followed the intimate details of her life with rapt attention. This girl, all but forgotten today, was the first deaf and blind person ever to learn language.

Laura's dark and silent life was transformed when she became the star pupil of the educational crusader Dr. Samuel Gridley Howe. Against the backdrop of an antebellum Boston seething with debates about human nature, programs of moral and educational reform, and battles between conservative and liberal Christians, Freeberg tells this extraordinary tale of mentor and student, scientist and experiment.

Under Howe's constant tutelage, Laura voraciously absorbed the world around her, learning to communicate through finger language, as well as to write with confidence. Her remarkable breakthroughs vindicated Howe's faith in the power of education to overcome the most terrible of disabilities. In Howe's hands, Laura's education became an experiment that he hoped would prove his own controversial ideas about the body, mind, and soul.

Poignant and hopeful, The Education of Laura Bridgman is both a success story of how a sightless and soundless girl gained contact with an ever-widening world, and also a cautionary tale about the way moral crusades and scientific progress can compromise each other. Anticipating the life of Helen Keller a half-century later, Laura's is a pioneering story of the journey from isolation to accomplishment, as well as a window onto what it means to be human under the most trying conditions.

Synopsis:

2001 John H. Dunning Prize, American Historical Association

Synopsis:

In the mid-nineteenth century, Laura Bridgman, a young child from New Hampshire, became one of the most famous women in the world. Philosophers, theologians, and educators hailed her as a miracle,and a vast public followed the intimate details of her life with rapt attention. This girl, all but forgotten today, was the first deaf and blind person ever to learn language.

Laura's dark and silentlife was transformed when she became the star pupil of the educational crusader Dr. Samuel Gridley Howe. Against the backdrop of an antebellum Boston seething with debates about human nature, programs of moral and educational reform,and battles between conservative and liberal Christians, Freeberg tells this extraordinary tale of mentor and student, scientist and experiment.

Under Howe's constant tutelage, Laura voraciouslyabsorbed the world around her, learning to communicate through finger language, as well as to write with confidence. Her remarkable breakthroughs vindicated Howe's faith in the power of education to overcome the most terrible ofdisabilities. In Howe's hands, Laura's education became an experiment that he hoped would prove his own controversial ideas about the body, mind, and soul.

Poignant and hopeful, TheEducation of Laura Bridgmanis both a success story of how a sightless and soundless girl gained contact with an ever-widening world, and also a cautionary tale about the way moral crusades and scientific progress cancompromise each other. Anticipating the life of Helen Keller a half-century later, Laura's is a pioneering story of the journey from isolation to accomplishment, as well as a window onto what it means to be human under the most tryingconditions.

About the Author

Ernest Freeberg is Associate Professor of History at the University of Tennessee.

University of Tennessee

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • 1. In Quest of His Prize
  • 2. Mind over Matter
  • 3. In the Public Eye
  • 4. Body and Mind
  • 5. The Instinct to Be Good
  • 6. Punishing Thoughts
  • 7. Sensing God
  • 8. Crisis
  • 9. Disillusionment
  • 10. A New Theory of Human Nature
  • 11. My Sunny Home
  • 12. Legacy
  • Abbreviations
  • Notes
  • Acknowledgments
  • Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780674010055
Author:
Freeberg, Ernest
Publisher:
Harvard University Press
Author:
Dr. Ernest Freeberg
Location:
Cambridge
Subject:
General
Subject:
Women
Subject:
Education
Subject:
United states
Subject:
Handicapped
Subject:
Specific Groups - Special Needs
Subject:
General Biography
Subject:
Biography - General
Subject:
Biography-Women
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
October 2002
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
14 halftones
Pages:
272
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 13 oz

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Related Subjects

Biography » Women
Education » Learning Disabilities
Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » Disability
History and Social Science » US History » Social and Economic History
Languages » Deaf Studies » Deaf Culture

The Education of Laura Bridgman: First Deaf and Blind Person to Learn Language New Trade Paper
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$24.25 In Stock
Product details 272 pages Harvard University Press - English 9780674010055 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , 2001 John H. Dunning Prize, American Historical Association
"Synopsis" by , In the mid-nineteenth century, Laura Bridgman, a young child from New Hampshire, became one of the most famous women in the world. Philosophers, theologians, and educators hailed her as a miracle,and a vast public followed the intimate details of her life with rapt attention. This girl, all but forgotten today, was the first deaf and blind person ever to learn language.

Laura's dark and silentlife was transformed when she became the star pupil of the educational crusader Dr. Samuel Gridley Howe. Against the backdrop of an antebellum Boston seething with debates about human nature, programs of moral and educational reform,and battles between conservative and liberal Christians, Freeberg tells this extraordinary tale of mentor and student, scientist and experiment.

Under Howe's constant tutelage, Laura voraciouslyabsorbed the world around her, learning to communicate through finger language, as well as to write with confidence. Her remarkable breakthroughs vindicated Howe's faith in the power of education to overcome the most terrible ofdisabilities. In Howe's hands, Laura's education became an experiment that he hoped would prove his own controversial ideas about the body, mind, and soul.

Poignant and hopeful, TheEducation of Laura Bridgmanis both a success story of how a sightless and soundless girl gained contact with an ever-widening world, and also a cautionary tale about the way moral crusades and scientific progress cancompromise each other. Anticipating the life of Helen Keller a half-century later, Laura's is a pioneering story of the journey from isolation to accomplishment, as well as a window onto what it means to be human under the most tryingconditions.

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