Helen Keller: Rebel Lives

Overview

This unique book presents a generally unrecognized aspect of Helen Keller’s life: her radical socialism, her defense of the IWW and her pacifist stance during both world wars. It includes texts written about her, by figures such as socialist leader Eugene V. Debs and Mark Twain.

"Her liberal views and wide sympathies ought to shame those who have physical eyes, yet do not open them to the sorrows that encompass the mass of men."—New York Call (1911)

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"We were born ...

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Overview

This unique book presents a generally unrecognized aspect of Helen Keller’s life: her radical socialism, her defense of the IWW and her pacifist stance during both world wars. It includes texts written about her, by figures such as socialist leader Eugene V. Debs and Mark Twain.

"Her liberal views and wide sympathies ought to shame those who have physical eyes, yet do not open them to the sorrows that encompass the mass of men."—New York Call (1911)

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"We were born into an unjust system. We are not prepared to grow old in it."—Bernadette Devlin

Rebel Lives books feature writings both by and about individuals who have played significant roles in humanity’s ongoing fight for a better world. The series shows the not-so-well-recognized political views of some well-known figures and introduces some not-so-famous rebels. Strongly representative of race, class and gender, these books are smaller format, inexpensive, accessible and provocative.

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Editorial Reviews

KLIATT
One might not expect to find a little book on Helen Keller in a series called Rebel Lives, but rebel she certainly was, at least in the early years of her public career. In his introduction, the editor vigorously challenges the generally held image of the "poor little blind girl," the often-seen child of William Gibson's The Miracle Worker, the heroic victim/sufferer frequently portrayed in literature for young readers. Helen Keller was an avowed socialist, a member of the IWW, a suffragette, a supporter of Eugene Debs and a denouncer of American involvement in WW I. This text presents excerpts from her writings ranging from a 1901 article in the Ladies Home Journal in which she blames the social system for blindness in newborns, through a 1932 Atlantic Monthly article, "Put Your Husband in the Kitchen," and a 1944 appearance before the House Committee on Labor. Keller's vehement defense of her socialist beliefs defies her critics who claim she had been duped (by her teacher Anne Sullivan Macy's husband) or brainwashed. While the activities of her later life were focused on causes related to the education of the deaf and the blind, these early texts reveal to the reader a little-known aspect of Helen Keller's life. (Rebel Lives). KLIATT Codes: SA;Recommended for senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 2003,, Ocean Press, 88p., Moore
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781876175603
  • Publisher: Ocean Press
  • Publication date: 7/1/2003
  • Series: Rebel Lives Series
  • Edition description: REV
  • Pages: 90
  • Sales rank: 1,489,069
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.70 (h) x 0.20 (d)

Meet the Author

John Davis is an Irish writer and historian specialising in US radical history.
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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
Chronology 13
Pt. 1 Disability and Class
I Must Speak 15
Social Causes of Blindness 19
The Unemployed 20
To the Strikers at Little Falls, New York 23
Comments to the House Committee on Labor 24
Pt. 2 Socialism
How I Became a Socialist 27
Why I Became an IWW 33
What is the IWW? 37
On Behalf of the IWW 40
The Hand of the World 43
Letter to Helen Keller from Muriel I. Symington 51
Help Soviet Russia 52
Pt. 3 Women
To an English Woman Suffragist 55
Why Men Need Woman Suffrage 58
The New Woman's Party 63
Great American Women 64
Put Your Husband in the Kitchen 67
Pt. 4 War
Strike Against War 75
The Ford Peace Plan is Doomed to Failure 81
Menace of the Militarist Program 82
To Morris Hillquit 84
To Eugene V. Debs 86
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