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The Life and Times of T. H. Gallaudet
Edna Edith Sayers




ForeEdge
2017 • 328 pp. 10 illus. 6 1/8 x 9 1/4"
Biography / Education History / Disability Studies


$29.95 Hardcover, 978-1-5126-0051-3

$24.99 Ebook, 978-1-5126-0141-1

Check your ebook retailer or local library for ebook availability.



A look into the complex life of an icon of deaf education

Edna Edith Sayers has written the definitive biography of T. H. Gallaudet (1787–1851), celebrated today as the founder of deaf education in America. Sayers traces Gallaudet’s work in the fields of deaf education, free common schools, literacy, teacher education and certification, and children’s books, while also examining his role in reactionary causes intended to uphold a white, Protestant nation thought to have existed in New England’s golden past.

Gallaudet’s youthful social and political entanglements included involvement with Connecticut’s conservative, state-established Congregational Church, the Federalist Party, and the Counter-Enlightenment ideals of Yale (where he was a student). He later embraced anti-immigrant, anti-abolition, and anti-Catholic efforts, and supported the expatriation of free African-Americans to settlements on Africa’s west coast. As much a history of the paternalistic, bigoted, and class-conscious roots of a reform movement as a story of one man’s life, this landmark work will surprise and enlighten both the hearing and Deaf worlds.

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Reviews / Endorsements



“Displaying a rare combination of erudition and wit, Sayers’s wonderful book is replete with keen insights into the life and times of Thomas H. Gallaudet. . . . I can’t remember the last time I enjoyed reading a work of history as much as I did this one.”—Douglas Baynton, University of Iowa

“An extraordinary addition to Deaf studies. Students and scholars no longer need to rely on oversimplified retellings. . . . We now have Sayers’s impressively researched guide through the complexities and nuances of the time and the man. This is a must-read for anyone serious in their interest in Deaf history.”—H-Dirksen L. Bauman, Gallaudet University

“With this important historical retrieval and revision, Sayers changes the way we think about Deaf history and the experience of deafness in America. Sayers gives us a full and rich picture of the world in which T. H. Gallaudet did his work and came to be the person we think of as a great man today. . . . But the real contribution of this story is the revelation of the interdependent relations and complicated positions of Gallaudet’s life and work that call into question the very idea of an independent great man.”—Rosemarie Garland-Thomson, Emory University



EDNA EDITH SAYERS was a professor of English at Gallaudet University, the famous school for the deaf. She has edited two anthologies: one of Deaf activist writers and another of deaf characters in literature.



Wed, 18 Oct 2017 13:48:13 -0500