A timely but diffuse chronicle of the ways that both society and self-perceptions have changed for America's largest minority- -the 35-to- 43 million people with disabilities. Shapiro (a writer for U.S. News & World Report) begins his story at Berkeley in the 1960's with activist Ed Roberts, a polio survivor, and the Physically Disabled Students' Program, whose self-help approach launched the disability-rights movement in the US and led to protest groups staging sit-ins to dramatize their demand for access to public transportation. The author tracks disability-rights legislation from the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which prohibited federally funded institutions from discriminating against the handicapped, to the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1992, which requires businesses to provide access for the handicapped and bans employers from discriminating on the basis of disability. Although the movement has achieved great success in a relatively short time, the disabled are still a fragmented coalition, with different groups emphasizing different aims. Many of the deaf, for instance, urge a separatist route, promoting deaf culture rather than integration into the hearing world. Shapiro also looks at the special concerns of the blind, the autistic, and the mentally retarded. He examines the impact of technology on aid for the disabled, the need for nursing-home reform, and the potential for backlash as the public becomes aware of the costs of implementing disability laws. Shapiro interviewed hundreds of people for this report, and his conversations with them bring life to his pages, reducing the distance between the disabled and others. A helpful introduction, but Shapiro loses focus and impact by attempting to survey too many different issues.

Pub Date: May 1, 1993

ISBN: 0-8129-1964-5

Page Count: 388

Publisher: Times/Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1993

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This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

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An extravaganza in Bemelmans' inimitable vein, but written almost dead pan, with sly, amusing, sometimes biting undertones, breaking through. For Bemelmans was "the man who came to cocktails". And his hostess was Lady Mendl (Elsie de Wolfe), arbiter of American decorating taste over a generation. Lady Mendl was an incredible person,- self-made in proper American tradition on the one hand, for she had been haunted by the poverty of her childhood, and the years of struggle up from its ugliness,- until she became synonymous with the exotic, exquisite, worshipper at beauty's whrine. Bemelmans draws a portrait in extremes, through apt descriptions, through hilarious anecdote, through surprisingly sympathetic and understanding bits of appreciation. The scene shifts from Hollywood to the home she loved the best in Versailles. One meets in passing a vast roster of famous figures of the international and artistic set. And always one feels Bemelmans, slightly offstage, observing, recording, commenting, illustrated.

Pub Date: Feb. 23, 1955

ISBN: 0670717797

Page Count: -

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Oct. 25, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1955

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