New book collects magazine, newspaper writing of Helen Keller; illustrates she was one of the great progressive thinkers of 20th century
Helen Keller is experiencing a 21st century renaissance. Finally she can be embraced not as an iconic deaf-blind celebrity but as a significant progressive thinker of the 20th century.
The new book, Byline of Hope: Collected Newspaper and Magazine Writing of Helen Keller, gives voice to her ideas about how to make the world a better place and how to create a more equitable and peaceful America. Keller’s “was the perfect message for the 20th century… that positive social change could occur.”
Helen Keller’s life offers much for study; she was an author, a socialist, the star of an early silent film, a vaudevillian, a suffragist, an international advocate and fundraiser for blind people, and even a co-founder of the ACLU. But no book has collected or examined her writings for newspapers and magazines until now.
Byline of Hope includes her newspaper and magazine articles located in publications like Good Housekeeping, Ladies Home Journal, and The New York Times, as well a little-known monthly magazine column that carried her byline for five years in the early 1930s. In an interview, Keller biographer Dorothy Herrmann said of her 5-year stint as a magazine columnist: “This is probably Helen Keller who Helen Keller was. It was Helen Keller unadorned by helpers.”
The book organizes her magazine and newspaper articles around themes, such as her sensory experiences, her socialism, and her advocacy of women’s issues and moral character.
Byline of Hope is published by the Advocado Press, which publishes books on the disability experience in America. The $19.95 softcover book is available for purchase online at www.advocadopress.org or as an e-book from Amazon.
The book is edited by media and disability scholar Beth Haller, author of the 2010 Advocado Press book, Representing Disability in an Ableist World: Essays on Mass Media. She is a journalism professor at Towson University in Maryland and curates disability news at Media dis&dat, http://media-dis-n-dat.blogspot.com/.