Coupon
In a Different Key : The Story of Autism
by John Donvan and Caren Zucker


Overview - Finalist for the 2017 Pulitzer Prize in General Nonfiction

An extraordinary narrative history of autism: the riveting story of parents fighting for their children 's civil rights; of doctors struggling to define autism; of ingenuity, self-advocacy, and profound social change.  Read more...


 
Hardcover
  • $30.00

Add to Cart + Add to Wishlist

In Stock Online.

FREE Shipping for Club Members
 
> Check In-Store Availability

In-Store pricing may vary

 
 
New & Used Marketplace 46 copies from $3.98
 
Download

This item is available only to U.S. billing addresses.
 
 
 
 

More About In a Different Key by John Donvan; Caren Zucker
 
 
 
Overview
Finalist for the 2017 Pulitzer Prize in General Nonfiction

An extraordinary narrative history of autism: the riveting story of parents fighting for their children 's civil rights; of doctors struggling to define autism; of ingenuity, self-advocacy, and profound social change.

Nearly seventy-five years ago, Donald Triplett of Forest, Mississippi, became the first child diagnosed with autism. Beginning with his family's odyssey, In a Different Key tells the extraordinary story of this often misunderstood condition, and of the civil rights battles waged by the families of those who have it. Unfolding over decades, it is a beautifully rendered history of ordinary people determined to secure a place in the world for those with autism--by liberating children from dank institutions, campaigning for their right to go to school, challenging expert opinion on what it means to have autism, and persuading society to accept those who are different.

It is the story of women like Ruth Sullivan, who rebelled against a medical establishment that blamed cold and rejecting "refrigerator mothers" for causing autism; and of fathers who pushed scientists to dig harder for treatments. Many others played starring roles too: doctors like Leo Kanner, who pioneered our understanding of autism; lawyers like Tom Gilhool, who took the families' battle for education to the courtroom; scientists who sparred over how to treat autism; and those with autism, like Temple Grandin, Alex Plank, and Ari Ne'eman, who explained their inner worlds and championed the philosophy of neurodiversity.

This is also a story of fierce controversies--from the question of whether there is truly an autism "epidemic," and whether vaccines played a part in it; to scandals involving "facilitated communication," one of many treatments that have proved to be blind alleys; to stark disagreements about whether scientists should pursue a cure for autism. There are dark turns too: we learn about experimenters feeding LSD to children with autism, or shocking them with electricity to change their behavior; and the authors reveal compelling evidence that Hans Asperger, discoverer of the syndrome named after him, participated in the Nazi program that consigned disabled children to death.

By turns intimate and panoramic, In a Different Key takes us on a journey from an era when families were shamed and children were condemned to institutions to one in which a cadre of people with autism push not simply for inclusion, but for a new understanding of autism: as difference rather than disability.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780307985675
  • ISBN-10: 0307985679
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group (NY)
  • Publish Date: January 2016
  • Page Count: 688
  • Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.4 x 2.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Psychology > Psychopathology - Autism
Books > Psychology > History

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2015-11-09
  • Reviewer: Staff

Journalists Donvan and Zuckers tremendous study keeps autism at its center while telling an extraordinary tale of social change. The authors follow evolving cultural responses to autism and autism spectrum disorders, including intolerance, a desperate quest for successful treatments, and the currently high level of awarenesswhich doesnt always prevent misunderstanding. The only shaky aspects of this swooping narrative are Donvan and Zuckers questionable, if not anachronistic, attempts to diagnose historical figures. Their works strength is a careful delineation of autisms contemporary ramifications, including the sometimes disputed statistics and the vaccine scare that first made headlines in the late 1990s. The authors give thoughtful consideration to the array of treatments for autism that have been explored; the 1960s, for example, saw a now-shocking trend of LSD treatments. Viewed as a whole, the narrative ultimately reveals a transition from an emphasis on treating individual cases to a more society-wide effort for advocacy and inclusionan effort that this book will do much to advance. Agent: Alia Hanna Habib, McCormick Literary. (Jan.)

 
BAM Customer Reviews