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Trying to Get Some Dignity: Stories of Triumph over Childhood Abuse
     

Trying to Get Some Dignity: Stories of Triumph over Childhood Abuse

by Richard Rhodes, Ginger Rhodes
 

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Trying to Get Some Dignity: Stories of Triumph Over Childhood Abuse evolved from Richard Rhodes's memoir, A Hole in the World: An American Boyhood, in which he told of the abuse he endured at the hands of his stepmother. Here is an oral history of child abuse—physical, mental, and sexual—and how its survivors dealt with it.

While

Overview

Trying to Get Some Dignity: Stories of Triumph Over Childhood Abuse evolved from Richard Rhodes's memoir, A Hole in the World: An American Boyhood, in which he told of the abuse he endured at the hands of his stepmother. Here is an oral history of child abuse—physical, mental, and sexual—and how its survivors dealt with it.

While talking with victims of abuse, the authors found that "each strategy [for survival] was original, imaginative, off the books, a tribute to the canny resilience of the human spirit. Collectively, like breathtaking third-act reversals, they promised to lift the narrative from one of pain to one of triumph."

Trying to Get Some Dignity will reaffirm readers' faith in their ability to overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles in their own lives.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This eloquent, moving forum grew out of the letters Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Richard Rhodes received in response to his 1990 memoir, A Hole in the World, his account of surviving childhood abuse inflicted by his stepmother. He and his wife here present interviews with 18 abuse survivors, augmented by childhood photographs on the scarring effects of incest, family violence, neglect, silence and denial. Many of these people were victims of sexual molestation; others endured sadistic punishment, repeated beatings, verbal assaults. The abuser was just as often a mother or a father as it was a stepparent. Some survived by taking charge of as much of their lives as they could claim; others kept their sanity through nurturing fantasies, creative play or writing. They searchingly discuss the daily coping with their childhood traumas' lasting effects: suicidal impulses, self-destructiveness, emotional armoring, bad choices of partners, addictions. Their stories radiate inner strength, courage and mature insight. (Oct.)
Library Journal
Very different from each other in content and in style, these two good books offer complementary approaches to an issue much in the news these days: child abuse in its physical, sexual, psychological, and spiritual incarnations. Richard Rhodes, himself a survivor of childhood abuse by a stepmother, with his wife, Ginger, present their interviews with some 20 other survivors of childhood abuse organized in 15 chapters with titles such as "Murder of the Body or the Soul," "It Affects You All Your Life," and "What Do Normal People Do?" Through these clear texts, we learn what abuse is from the very people who suffered it and how they surmounted the horrors. Rushford, a nurse and counselor who has worked with abused children and researched and written on the subject, presents us with a manual on preventing and dealing with child abuse. Besides carefully defining what abuse is, she outlines how children develop so that parents may have appropriate expectations. Rushford also gives advice on effective discipline and on how to deal with a difficult child. In a limited way, Rushford includes her Christian faith as part of her approach. These books should prove helpful to all who are touched by the problem of child abuse and who want children to be and feel valued: counselors, teachers, parents who want to avoid repeating abuse they may have experienced, and many others.John Moryl, Yeshiva Univ. Lib., New York

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780688140960
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
11/28/1996
Pages:
358
Product dimensions:
6.54(w) x 9.62(h) x 1.29(d)

Meet the Author

Awarded the Pulitzer Prize for The Making of the Atomic Bomb, Richard Rhodes has also won the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Prize, as well as fellowships from the Guggenheim, Ford, and MacArthur foundations and the National Endowment for the Arts. He is the author of a dozen books amd more than seventy articles and lives in rural Connecticut with his wife, writer and pilot Ginger Rhodes.

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