Why did I love this book?
As a student at San Francisco State University, I took Paul Longmore’s HIST 490 “Disability in America” course and it quite simply changed how I interpret United States history. The autobiographical title essay in Why I Burned My Book presents foundational logic for understanding legal and cultural barriers impacting the disabled, and how capitalism impacts minority groups. Nobody speaks better on disability than the disabled. Longmore creates a model built upon the work of earlier disability scholars-activist in presenting “Catch-22” paradigms in oppressive laws related to race and gender impacting minority groups. When I read Longmore’s ideas, I can again look into his insightful eyes flashing sparks of humor, defiance, anger, and joy. My book about Helen Keller simply would not exist without Longmore’s passionate investment in students.