- Paperback: 208 pages
- Publisher: Harper Perennial; Reprint edition (November 13, 1990)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0060973471
- ISBN-13: 978-0060973476
- Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.5 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 51 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,316,195 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Seeing Voices: A Journey Into the World of the Deaf Reprint Edition
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From Publishers Weekly
In what PW judged "an extraordinarily moving and thought-provoking report," neurologist Sacks scrutinizes the history of treatment of the deaf, investigates the expressive capabilities of sign language and gauges the linguistic and social pressures faced by deaf people. Illustrated.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
Sacks, a neurologist and author of the popular The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat ( LJ 2/15/86), developed a serious interest in sign language and deafness after reviewing Harlan Lane's When the Mind Hears ( LJ 10/15/84 ) for the New York Review of Books . In this work, Sacks explores all facets of the deaf world--he meets with deaf people and their families and visits schools for the deaf, spending a good deal of time at Gallaudet University. As he writes, "I had now to see them in a new, 'ethnic light,' as people with a distinctive language, sensibility, and culture of their own." The work is divided into three broad sections, throughout which there are numerous, somewhat distracting footnote "excursions." Although there is a wealth of insight and information here, the book tends to drag for the average reader and may disappoint fans of Sacks's previous best seller. Recommended for scholars and graduate collections.
- Debra Berlanstein, Towson State Univ., Baltimore
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Top customer reviews
While this book is dated, Oliver Sacks shares very valuable experiences by deaf people. He reviews some of the personal struggles of the deaf, their historic treatment by hearing people, some history of sign language, and the development of Deaf culture. It is helpful that Oliver Sacks starts initially from his own ignorance. He walks us through well researched insights, and he brilliantly lights our understanding of human thinking that comes from language development.
The writing is fairly long-winded, in particular in the middle part. The third part is clearly the best and liveliest. It's a good account of the uprising at Gallaudet University in 1988 that forced the election of their first deaf president.
Apart from that, there's some good history, but there's also a good amount of repetition and overlap (the three parts were written as independent pieces at first). Definitely read if you think sign language is just English with gestures. Skip if you've ever read anything about sign language or have even taken a class.