This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Helen Keller: Revolutionary Activist by…

Helen Keller: Revolutionary Activist

by Helen Keller

Other authors: John Davis (Editor)

Series: Rebel Lives

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
371474,376 (4.5)1
Archival films and commentary by H.v. Kaltenborn are used to trace the life of Helen Keller and her triumph over serious handicaps with the help of teacher Anne Sullivan.



Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 1 mention

Revealing an unremembered revolutionary: Many people have heard of Helen Keller, the first deafblind person to graduate from college, an author, and the individual honored on Alabama's state quarter. Many fewer actually know what sort of person Keller was, what she stood for and believed in. Keller's activism on behalf of women's suffrage, pacifism, civil liberties, and radical socialism have largely been stripped from the sanitized images of her in popular consciousness. This short collection of some of Keller's best-known radical writings can help address this ignorance and raise consciousness about an American radical and militant socialist most often remembered as little more than a "poor little blind girl".

In "Helen Keller: Rebel Lives", editor John Davis brings together a collection of letters, articles, and essays (all written by Keller except for one interview) outlining her radical social visions. Davis opens the volume with a 14-page biographical sketch, chronology, and introductions to the documents written with Karen Fletcher. The remaining 75 pages are organized into four sections, each including 5-7 brief documents, that explore Keller's views on disability and class (and the links between them); socialism and industrial unionism; women and women's suffrage; and war, militarism, and pacifism. Also included is a very short bibliography of electronic and printed resources for more information.

The documents I found most interesting were those relating to Keller's involvement with the Socialist Party of America and the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), a radical anticapitalist union. Even though I was already familiar with Keller's revolutionary socialism, Keller's lively and witty articles on socialism and the IWW were a pleasure to read even with the burden of hindsight. I can only imagine that readers who know little about Keller the radical leftist will find these writings much more of a revelation, and more interesting as a result.

This volume is in no sense a complete biography of Keller. It includes only introductions to her activism and revolutionary politics, and could have benefited greatly from providing background and analysis that was both more comprehensive and more in-depth. However, this slim volume is plenty to burst the bubble of sanitized history that surrounds popular views of Keller, and help readers get past her whitewashed image and learn a bit about the least-remembered aspects of the real person. It may also be of special value to teachers looking for primary sources on Keller or any of her fields of activism. ( )
  daschaich | Jan 14, 2008 |
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Helen Kellerprimary authorall editionscalculated
Davis, JohnEditorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
First words
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary

Quick Links

Popular covers


Average: (4.5)
4 1
5 1

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 141,688,473 books! | Top bar: Always visible