Sunday, June 24, 2012

Pettinicchio reviews Pelka, "An Oral History of the Disability Rights Movement"

In 2004, freelance writer Fred Pelka received a Guggenheim Fellowship to support the research and writing of What WE Have Done: An Oral History of the Disability Rights Movement, recently published by the University of Massachusetts Press. David Pettinicchio (University of Washington) has reviewed the book for Mobilizing Ideas, an online publication hosted by the Center for the Study of Social Movements at Notre Dame. Here's a taste:
The book is based on in-depth interviews mostly with key activists from three sources: Pelka’s own interviews, interviews recorded by the group Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF), and oral histories from the Oral History Office of the Bancroft Library at UC Berkeley. The book is structured around key events and places in the disability rights struggle, predominantly focusing on the politics of the Americans with Disabilities Act (although the interviews and accounts capture a lengthy historical period as many of those interviewed provide recollections of the past going back as far as the 1950s).
In Pettinicchio's view, the book "is not framed around any particular sociological analysis" but is rather "a story of disability rights as told by those involved in the movement." He predicts that it will interest "anyone who studies social movements, collective action, and activism, as well as those interested more specifically in disability rights."

Read more of the review here. The book's TOC is available here.

Hat tip: bookforum