'A Philosophy of Handicap': The Origins of Randolph Bourne's Radicalism
Radical History Review, Vol. 94, p. 59, Winter 2006
25 Pages Posted: 24 Oct 2009
Date Written: January 1, 2006
Scholars have viewed early twentieth century American social critic, Randolph Bourne, through a variety of lenses, from a displaced intellectual to a champion of modern individualism. None, however, identify handicap as the source of his outlook. Longmore and Miller reconsider the importance of handicap in the life and work of Bourne. In doing so, the authors argue that Bourne’s experience with handicap, evidenced by his torturous and conflicted struggle to gain confidence and self-respect amidst widespread discrimination and prejudice, shaped his radical outlook toward social transformation. Furthermore, Longmore and Miller maintain that a more complete understanding of modernity requires insight into the role that handicap has played in America’s modern transformation.
Keywords: Randolph Bourne, Progressive Era, handicap, radicalism, disability
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