Cover image for The deaf mute howls
The deaf mute howls
Ballin, Albert, 1861-1932.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Washington, D.C. : Gallaudet University Press, [1998]

Physical Description:
xl, 94 cm. : illustrations ; 23 cm.
General Note:
Originally published: Los Angeles, Calif. : Grafton Pub. Co., c1930.
Personal Subject:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library HV1624.B35 A3 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Originally published in 1930, The Deaf Mute Howls challenged the prevailing practice of teaching deaf children to speak and read lips while prohibiting the use of sign language. Albert Ballin's sharp observations in this remarkable book detail his experiences (and those of others) at a late 19th-century residential school for deaf students and his frustrations as an adult seeking acceptance in the majority hearing society. The Deaf Mute Howls charts the ambiguous attitudes of deaf people toward themselves at this time. Ballin himself makes matter-of-fact use of terms now considered disparaging, such as deaf-mute, and he frequently rues the atrophying of the parts of his brain necessary for language acquisition. At the same time, he rails against the loss of opportunity for deaf people, and he commandingly shifts the burden of blame to hearing people unwilling to learn the Universal Sign Language, his solution to the communication problems of society. From his lively encounters with Alexander Graham Bell (whose desire to close residential schools he surprisingly supports), to his enthrallment with the film industry, Ballin's highly readable book offers an appealing look at the deaf world during his richly colored lifetime.

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