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Helen Keller: The Story of My Life (Dover Thrift Editions) Paperback – September 18, 1996

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 11 and up
  • Grade Level: 6 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 1150L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications; New edition edition (September 18, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486292495
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486292496
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.2 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,057 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


The Scopes Trial of 1925 pitted against each other lawyers William Jennings Bryan and Clarence Darrow-in an American court case that tested a law passed on March 13, 1925, which forbade the teaching, in any state-funded educational establishment in Tennessee, of "any theory that denies the story of the Divine Creation of man as taught in the Bible, and to teach instead that man has descended from a lower order of animals." This is often interpreted as meaning that the law forbade the teaching of any aspect of the theory of evolution; however, the Butler Act forbade public school teachers in Tennessee to deny the literal biblical account of man-s origin and to teach in its place the evolution of man from lower animals.

--Strong --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From the Back Cover

When she was 19 months old, Helen Keller (1880–1968) suffered a severe illness that left her blind and deaf. Not long after, she also became mute. Her tenacious struggle to overcome these handicaps-with the help of her inspired teacher, Anne Sullivan-is one of the great stories of human courage and dedication. In this classic autobiography, first published in 1903, Miss Keller recounts the first 22 years of her life, including the magical moment at the water pump when, recognizing the connection between the word "water" and the cold liquid flowing over her hand, she realized that objects had names. Subsequent experiences were equally noteworthy: her joy at eventually learning to speak, her friendships with Oliver Wendell Holmes, Edward Everett Hale and other notables, her education at Radcliffe (from which she graduated cum laude), and-underlying all-her extraordinary relationship with Miss Sullivan, who showed a remarkable genius for communicating with her eager and quick-to-learn pupil. These and many other aspects of Helen Keller's life are presented here in clear, straightforward prose full of wonderful descriptions and imagery that would do credit to a sighted writer. Completely devoid of self-pity, yet full of love and compassion for others, this deeply moving memoir offers an unforgettable portrait of one of the outstanding women of the twentieth century.

Customer Reviews

I like his style.
Richard E. Noble
I will certainly recommend this book to anyone espeically pre-law or law school students.
Tzu Yu
This book was an easy read.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

104 of 110 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 7, 1998
Format: Paperback
I was about 8 years old, my grandmother had a "bed and breakfast" type of house in Garmisch, Germany, I was on my way home from school and had picked some flowers for her "B & B" tables, when I saw a lady with awhite cane, I gave her the flowers which I had picked for my grandma, The lady to whom I gave the flowers was Ms. Keller, the lady accompanying her was Ms. Sullivan. The next day, my teacher at school asked me to her office. Thinking that I was in trouble (again) I was worried about what was going on. She asked me where I had met Helen Keller; To which I replied "Helen who??" , She then explained to me who Helen Keller was. My grandmother and I then were invited to one of the finer hotels in Garmisch to have dinner with Ms Keller and Ms Sullivan. At which time she presented me with a hardcover of her book "The story of my life". What I belive makes this book special is the fact that Ms Keller wrote a note to me In GERMAN, she wrote: "An meiner kleine freund der meine hand froh machte mit 'Primrosen', eine botschft from fruehling mit liebe Helen Keller" In rough translation: "To my little friend, who made my hand happy with a message of spring with love Hellen Keller". This book is most certainly one of my most price posessions.
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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Richard E. Noble VINE VOICE on August 12, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
We don't hear or read all that much about Clarence Darrow these days. He was clearly what is termed a "liberal." Actually the American derisive version of the term "liberal" may have been coined in his honor.

Clarence once gave a speech at a prison where he lectured on his theory of the nature and origin of crime and its treatment and cure. When he was done a reporter interviewed some of the prisoners who were in attendance. They all thought that Clarence was a very kind and understanding man but even they, as criminals, couldn't bring themselves to be quite so understanding about their own criminal natures as Mr. Darrow was.

Though he was an agnostic or even possibly an atheist, he believed in destiny or fate when it came to the determination of an individual's life. He felt that a man or human being was no more capable of deterring his destiny than a planet hurdling through space could alter its direction or change its course.

If there is a God and consequently a devil, I have no doubt that at the Final Judgment, Clarence Darrow will be on hand to bring before the Almighty the case for the Devil and his right to be evil. I can hear him now: "Didn't you know, my God Almighty, when you created the devil that he would be evil and do evil things? And since you must have known the devil would be evil when you created him can you truly consider Yourself to be "All Just" in condemning him now? What kind of an omniscient, infinitely loving God are you? What kind of infinite justice are you pretending to practice here anyway?"

Clarence Darrow only defended people. He was called "The Attorney for the Damned." He never prosecuted. And there is no doubt, if you were in need of defense, Clarence was one man that you wanted on your side.
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16 of 21 people found the following review helpful By frumiousb VINE VOICE on January 9, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Darrow takes the reader through some of his most famous cases and explains the philosophy with which he approached his career and the law in general. Any reader interested in the history of the period should find his accounts fascinating: Eugene Debs, John P. Altgeld, the MacNamara Case, the Loeb-Leopold murders, and the famous Scopes "monkey trial" case are just some of the points touched upon in the Darrow autobiography.

Darrow is a clean and competent writer, if not an artistic one. The prose is easy to read and understand. In places, the book can get frustrating because he leaves a topic well before the reader has lost interest. Future publishers would do well to publish this book together with some pointers for further reading.

The Da Capo Press edition is published with a very strange little introductory essay by Alan Dershowitz. In it, he seems more interested in rehabilitating the memory of Bryan than he does in introducing the book. The reader may want to skip it until after finishing the main book itself.

Beyond the obvious lawyer/law student audience, I would also recommend this book to readers interested in labor politics, the early history of the 20th century in the US, and social justice.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By T. Thompson on July 11, 2003
Format: Paperback
How often can we really delve into the life of the blind? When we ourselves are not blind. How about understanding what it's like to be deaf? Or what about living most of life unable to speak?
Helen Keller experienced them all and lived with all of these conditions in a most miraculous way. This is a woman who overcame many obstacles.
I remember watching a video of the Miracle Worker in 7th grade and have always been inspired by the story of Anne Sullivan breaking through the wall that surrounded her young student, Helen Keller.
This particular book gives you the story from the other side. I can only imagine what it was like to be young Helen Keller trapped in a dark, soundless world unable to speak. Her short autobiography is stunningly optimistic. This is a woman who met challenges and took them head on.
Her story is one of triumph in the face of set backs. She never let her condition be a stumbling block but always a stepping stone.
This story is a marvelous picture of the many accomplishments of Helen Keller. It is called "The Story of My Life". It should be called, "The Story of My Remarkable Life".
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