Helen Keller: Selected Writings

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“[My life] is so rich with blessings—an immense capacity of enjoyment, books, and beloved friends. . . . Most earnestly I pray the dear Heavenly Father that I may sometime make myself far more worthy of the love shown to me than I am now.”
—April 22, 1900 letter from Helen Keller to John Hitz, AFB

When Helen Keller died in 1968, at the age of eighty-eight years old, she was one of the most widely known women in the world. The overnight success of her biography, The Story of My Life, written at age twenty-three, made it obvious to Keller that she was endowed with a gift for writing and speaking. As she got older, she increasingly began to do both on a variety of subjects extending beyond her own disability, including social, political, and theological issues.

Helen Keller: Selected Writings collects Keller’s personal letters, political writings, speeches, and excerpts of her published materials from 1887 to 1968. The book also includes an introductory essay by Kim E. Nielsen, headnotes to each document, and a selected bibliography of work by and about Keller. The majority of the letters and some prints, all drawn from the Helen Keller Archives at the American Foundation for the Blind in New York, are being published for the first time.

Literature, education, advocacy, politics, religion, travel: the many interests of Helen Keller culminate in this book and are reflected in her spirited narration. Also portrayed are the individuals Keller inspired and took inspiration from, including her teacher Annie Sullivan, her family, and others with whom she formed friendships throughout the course of her life.

This often charming collection revels in and preserves Keller’s public and private life, coming to us in the year which marks the 125th anniversary of her birthday.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Helen Keller: Selected Writings allows a fresh reassessment of one of the extraordinary figures of the twentieth century. Helen Keller was more than just a blind and deaf woman who learned to communicate, she was an acute intelligence exploring and explaining the world to those with all five senses. This astute selection from her writings enables us to read her public and private words over the many decades of long and productive life.”
-Helen Lefkowitz Horowitz,Smith College

“These words written so long ago are as lively and relevant as if they were just typed. . . . Editor Kim Nielsen has compiled a treasure trove of Helen Keller’s letters, speeches, and other writings that provide a glimpse into Keller's friendships; her views about disability, politics, and social justice; and her affection and respect for her teacher, Anne Sullivan Macy. . . . Because of the breadth of topics addressed, this book will be of significance to a wide variety of people.... As evidenced by her own words, Helen Keller was a deeply spiritual person with high regard for the dignity of each person and a desire for social justice. My admiration for her as a woman and as a citizen has increased by reading this book.”

-Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness

“Here is Helen Keller’s endlessly fascinating life in all its variety: from intimate personal correspondence to radical political essays, from autobiography to speeches advocating the rights of disabled people. All are illuminated by Nielsen’s insightful introductory essays. The wealth of photos is equally delightful. This is a treasure trove for Keller enthusiasts and scholars alike.”
-Douglas C. Baynton,author of Forbidden Signs: American Culture and the Campaign Against Sign Language

“With the help of the American Foundation for the Blind, editor Nielsen has compiled an outstanding collection, including many letters and photos that are being published for the first time.”

“[This] makes a fine companion to The Radical Lives of Helen Keller. . . . A useful addition to academic libraries supporting literature programs and larger public libraries.”
-Library Journal

Library Journal
Keller (1880-1968) has too often been "merely" the subject of juvenile fiction-a highly romanticized child heroine overcoming tremendous adversity whose story is told only through young adulthood. In this latest addition to the "History of Disability" series (other titles include Mental Retardation in America and Nielsen's own The Radical Lives of Helen Keller), Nielsen (history & women's studies, Univ. of Wisconsin, Green Bay) reveals a woman with wide-ranging interests who was often frustrated by the pigeonholing effects of her own fame. This anthology of letters, articles, speeches, and book excerpts, including private material, makes a fine companion to Radical Lives. Arranged chronologically, the writings are grouped around Keller's primary interests and concerns at various periods of her life. Nielsen pays the most attention to the third (1924-45) and fourth (1945-60) periods, when Keller focused on advocacy for the disabled around the world. A useful addition to academic libraries supporting literature programs and larger public libraries.-Felicity D. Walsh, Emory Univ., Decatur, GA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814758298
  • Publisher: New York University Press
  • Publication date: 6/1/2005
  • Series: History of Disability Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 317
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Kim E. Nielsen is Associate Professor of History and Women’s Studies in the Department of Social Change and Development at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. She lives in Green Bay, WI.

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Table of Contents

One 1889–1900
Growing Up

Two 1900–1924
Major Works
Friendships, Intimacies, and the Everyday
Three 1924–1945
A Major Works
Friendships, Intimacies, and the Everyday

Four 1946–1968
Friendships, Intimacies, and the Everyday
Major Works

About the Editor

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 12 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2009

    English Paper

    "Helen Keller: The Story of My Life" is a book that I will never forget. It is the very touching story of Helen Keller and how she came to be the women that she was. This is one story that I believe everybody should read, it has inspired me to enjoy the senses that I have that she didn't. This is one lady that cannot be stopped, the amount of things she achieved in her lifetime from improving the quality of deaf and blind person's lives. She managed to graduate college and she was missing the two most important senses a person can have. She couldn't see or hear for Christ's sakes. This is a perfect example of anybody with a desire to better themselves can do it. This statement is how Helen Keller lived every day; even with her disabilities. Anybody who enjoys reading about hardship would enjoy this book because I believe that Helen Keller embodies struggle and perseverance. One thing I didn't like about the book is that it is very sad, and while this couldn't be changed because it is real life, it still is something that I don't like in a book. The book tells of her experiences, her struggles through her own eyes. This book was a very enjoyable read, the trials that Helen Keller went through are incredible and her life was very interesting.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2008

    a fantastic book

    Helen Keller was a person whose life was the drama--she did not seek drama as the silly celebrities of today. And that is what makes this a great read with a genuine voice, inspiring in a quiet complex way. I felt it was a rare gem to be reread at different points in our lives.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 19, 2004

    Not what I expected

    This book wasn't as thrilling as I would have personally preferred, but it was very interesting never the less. She speaks very deeply of her emotions for the beauty that she can neither see or hear but can still feel and understand in a totally different way. For the majority of the book she's talking about her education. Which I totally think is cool because of her disability and such, but it's not really all that thrilling. I don't want to be a total nimrod, but after a while talking about exams becomes a little uninteresting. Overall, I would recomend this book to people that enjoy a peaceful book, and one who enjoys autobiographicals of the past.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2012

    It didnt work

    I love helen but dont buy it if u hve a nook tablet! All u c is white pages! Dont buy for nook tablet

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 26, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    The amazing deaf

    this book is cool.

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2006

    The Story of My Life Helle Keller a oustanding book or a poor one.

    my opinion about the story of my life by Hale Keller is okay because to me I don¿t like to reed autobiography, but even so I like it a little.

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2014

    What is it

    Is it a good book or a bad book please respond through ratings plz is it a:-) or a :-(

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2012


    It said things I didn't even knew about Hellen.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 1, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2013

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