Book ID: CBB247390759

No Right to Be Idle: The Invention of Disability, 1840s–1930s (2017)


Sarah F. Rose (Author)

The University of North Carolina Press

Publication Date: 2017
Physical Details: 398
Language: English

During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Americans with all sorts of disabilities came to be labeled as "unproductive citizens." Before that, disabled people had contributed as they were able in homes, on farms, and in the wage labor market, reflecting the fact that Americans had long viewed productivity as a spectrum that varied by age, gender, and ability. But as Sarah F. Rose explains in No Right to Be Idle, a perfect storm of public policies, shifting family structures, and economic changes effectively barred workers with disabilities from mainstream workplaces and simultaneously cast disabled people as morally questionable dependents in need of permanent rehabilitation to achieve "self-care" and "self-support." By tracing the experiences of policymakers, employers, reformers, and disabled people caught up in this epochal transition, Rose masterfully integrates disability history and labor history. She shows how people with disabilities lost access to paid work and the status of "worker--a shift that relegated them and their families to poverty and second-class economic and social citizenship. This has vast consequences for debates about disability, work, poverty, and welfare in the century to come.

Reviewed By

Review Jesse F. Ballenger (2018) Review of "No Right to Be Idle: The Invention of Disability, 1840s–1930s". American Historical Review (pp. 1318-1319). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Shah, Nayan
Oldenziel, Ruth
Hickman, Timothy Alton
DiStefano, Diana L.
Lewis, Ronald L.
Fones-Wolf, Ken
Environmental History
Social History of Medicine
Bulletin of the History of Medicine
Pharmacy in History
Journal of Social History
State University of New York at Buffalo
University of California Press
Amsterdam University Press
University of Massachusetts Press
University of West Virginia Press
Rutgers University Press
Medicine and society
Disabilities; disability; accessibility
Labor and laborers
Medicine and race
Medicine and gender
Time Periods
20th century, early
19th century
20th century
17th century
18th century
United States
California (U.S.)
Great Britain
Southern states (U.S.)

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