Read Seeing Voices: A Journey into the World of the Deaf by Oliver Sacks Free Online
Book Title: Seeing Voices: A Journey into the World of the Deaf|
The author of the book: Oliver Sacks
ISBN 13: 9780520060838
Format files: PDF, Epub, DOCx, TXT
The size of the: 960 KB
Edition: University of California Press
Date of issue: August 2nd 1989
Reader ratings: 4.5
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Read full description of the books Seeing Voices: A Journey into the World of the Deaf:
Oliver Sacks has been described (by The New York Times Book Review) as "one of the great clinical writers of the 20th century," and his books, including the medical classics Migraine and Awakenings, have been widely praised by critics from W. H. Auden to Harold Pinter to Doris Lessing. In his last book, The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat, Dr. Sacks undertook a fascinating journey into the world of the neurologically impaired, an exploration that Noel Perrin in the Chicago Sun-Times called "wise, compassionate, and very literate . . . the kind that restore(s) one's faith in humanity."
Now, with Seeing Voices, Dr. Sacks takes us into the world of the deaf, a world he explores with the same passion and insight that have illuminated other human conditions for his readers everywhere. Seeing Voices is a journey: a journey first into the history of deaf people, the (often outrageous) ways in which they were seen and treated in the past, and the new understanding that started to dawn in the eighteenth century; and a journey into the present situation of the deaf—a situation which, all too often, is still one of misunderstanding and mistreatment.
Dr. Sacks writes of how he has come to see deaf people "in a new light, as a people, with a distinctive language, sensibility, and culture of their own." Indeed, it is only in the last ten years that the extraordinary and beautiful visual-gestural language of the deaf—Sign—has been fully recognized as a language, as linguistically complete, rich, and expressive as any spoken language, a language with its own distinctive basis in the brain. The one overwhelming peril for the deaf is to be kept from achieving language competence of any kind, to be denied access to both Sign and speech, and that tragedy is completely preventable by early exposure to Sign.
Sign is also social and cultural. It lies at the heart of the many manifestions of "deaf consciousness" in the past twenty years, among them the remarkable uprising of the deaf students at Gallaudet University in 1988. The revolt gained international attention and showed the world decisively that deaf people have "come of age" and no longer want to be treated as "disabled." Dr. Sacks gives a vivid personal account of the revolt and ponders its implications for the future. All his encounters in the course of this exhilarating journey raise issues of surprising depth and richness which, though of paramount interest to deaf people and all concerned with them, also extend powerfully to the human condition in general.
Read information about the authorOliver Wolf Sacks, CBE, was a British neurologist residing in the United States, who has written popular books about his patients, the most famous of which is Awakenings, which was adapted into a film of the same name starring Robin Williams and Robert De Niro.
Sacks was the youngest of four children born to a prosperous North London Jewish couple: Sam, a physician, and Elsie, a surgeon. When he was six years old, he and his brother were evacuated from London to escape The Blitz, retreating to a boarding school in the Midlands, where he remained until 1943. During his youth, he was a keen amateur chemist, as recalled in his memoir Uncle Tungsten. He also learned to share his parents' enthusiasm for medicine and entered The Queen's College, Oxford University in 1951, from which he received a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in physiology and biology in 1954. At the same institution, he went on to earn in 1958, a Master of Arts (MA) and an MB ChB in chemistry, thereby qualifying to practice medicine.
After converting his British qualifications to American recognition (i.e., an MD as opposed to MB ChB), Sacks moved to New York, where he has lived since 1965, and taken twice weekly therapy sessions since 1966.
Sacks began consulting at chronic care facility Beth Abraham Hospital (now Beth Abraham Health Service) in 1966. At Beth Abraham, Sacks worked with a group of survivors of the 1920s sleeping sickness, encephalitis lethargica, who had been unable to move on their own for decades. These patients and his treatment of them were the basis of Sacks' book Awakenings.
His work at Beth Abraham helped provide the foundation on which the Institute for Music and Neurologic Function (IMNF), where Sacks is currently an honorary medical advisor, is built. In 2000, IMNF honored Sacks, its founder, with its first Music Has Power Award. The IMNF again bestowed a Music Has Power Award on Sacks in 2006 to commemorate "his 40 years at Beth Abraham and honor his outstanding contributions in support of music therapy and the effect of music on the human brain and mind".
Sacks was formerly employed as a clinical professor of neurology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and at the New York University School of Medicine, serving the latter school for 42 years. On 1 July 2007, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons appointed Sacks to a position as professor of clinical neurology and clinical psychiatry, at the same time opening to him a new position as "artist", which the university hoped will help interconnect disciplines such as medicine, law, and economics. Sacks was a consultant neurologist to the Little Sisters of the Poor, and maintained a practice in New York City.
Since 1996, Sacks was a member of The American Academy of Arts and Letters (Literature). In 1999, Sacks became a Fellow of the New York Academy of Sciences. Also in 1999, he became an Honorary Fellow at The Queen's College, Oxford. In 2002, he became Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (Class IV—Humanities and Arts, Section 4—Literature). and he was awarded the 2001 Lewis Thomas Prize by Rockefeller University. Sacks was awarded honorary doctorates from the College of Staten Island (1991), Tufts University (1991), New York Medical College (1991), Georgetown University (1992), Medical College of Pennsylvania (1992), Bard College (1992), Queen's University (Ontario) (2001), Gallaudet University (2005), University of Oxford (2005), Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (2006). He was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2008 Birthday Honours. Asteroid 84928 Oliversacks, discovered in 2003 and 2 miles (3.2 km) in diameter, has been named in his honor.
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