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My Body Politic: A Memoir
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My Body Politic: A Memoir

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  125 ratings  ·  15 reviews
While hitchhiking from Boston to Washington, D.C., in 1971 to protest the war in Vietnam, Simi Linton was involved in a car accident that paralyzed her legs and took the lives of her young husband and her best friend. Her memoir begins with her struggle to regain physical and emotional strength and to resume her life in the world. Then Linton takes us on the road she trave ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published January 23rd 2007 by University of Michigan Press (first published 2005)
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I'm a little bit obsessed with some of the observations in Simi Linton's disability studies book Claiming Disability, and was very eager to get into her memoir. Linton is a disability rights advocate who has been a wheelchair-user since she was paralyzed in the seventies. I honestly expected to have a little bit of difficulty empathizing with parts of her story, because she had a "normal" body before she was disabled. However, so many of her words resonated with me and my own journey, potentiall ...more
Jun 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: for-class, memoir
An essential disability memoir. Combines Simi Linton's experience, the experience of others, disability theory, and law. A perfect book to read if you are new to disability studies, especially as it debunks many of the commonly held and grossly untrue myths of disability. Life is worth living!
Aug 23, 2017 rated it liked it
While I think this memoir is important because of its insight and knowledge on disability, disability identity, and disability studies I did not enjoy the writing. The writing made it hard for me to read through large chunks at a time and seemed unnecessarily drawn out in many instances. I enjoyed the themes and would recommend this book on its content but the format and writing hindered my reading experience.
Jul 19, 2018 rated it liked it
I thought this was a great book. I had already read Linton’s book, “Claiming Disability,” which I thought was excellent and very insightful for people with disabilities and those interested in teaching. As a person with a disability who often feels isolated from the disabled community, I find my connection in reading books like these.

As a memoir, I think this book was very good, but even more so as a disability memoir. I feel a lot of disability memoirs I’ve read are rather shallow, a long accou
Apr 18, 2009 rated it liked it
Recommended to Mary by: randomly found at the library
Shelves: memoir, political
I found this book at random at the library. It gives a great picture about what it's like to be a paraplegic/to live life in and from and with a wheelchair. It made me notice how many or few curb cuts there are in our town, for example. There was a lot I learned about the lives of people with "disabilities," and the disability movement, which she avoided for years but finally embraced. For example, there is the stereotype of being dismissed when you are perceived as being spunky or courageous or ...more
This book recounts Linton's personal story from the accident that left in her in a wheelchair to her voyage learning more about the needs and battles of the disabled community. Linton starts off experiencing the discrimination commonly associated with disability including lack of access to places, transportation and inadequate social and health services. Once she moves to the west coast, she discovers the disability rights movement. There she meets people and ideas that would influence this book ...more
Feb 17, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone
Linton was my teacher. I learned from the book a different view of the Viet Nam era. She was injured in a car accident while hitchhiking to a march on Washington with her best friend and her husband. She became a paraplegic and her friends were killed. She documents her experience as a disabled person in the early 70's advocating for herself, and ultimately becoming one of the founders of the disability rights movements
A riveting read.
Get it! Read it! Share it!
Ann Millett-Gallant
Oct 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a great read! I love the way the author tells her own story, as part of a movement for disability rights. She also discusses the formation of the Society for Disability Studies and advocates for disability studies as a key component of cultural studies. I also love her descriptions of dance within disability studies.
Dec 19, 2010 rated it liked it
Excellent consciousness-raiser about living one's whole adult life with a significant disability. Recommended for all able-bodied people to better understand the life experiences and challenges of people with disabilities.
Jan 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
I was assigned this book for my 1st semester of graduate school. It was very informative and interesting. It was great to see where Simi began and how she used her disability to learn about herself, others and the society we live in.
Feb 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I'm a little over half way done with this book right now, and it's really amazing! Siri Linton really highlights what it means to be a disabled person in our society and how our system needs to change.
Jul 03, 2007 rated it liked it
I did enjoy this book, but I don't think my affinity for it can be quantified in stars. I'm torn between "liked it" and "really liked it". Three and a half stars?
The one incredible misstep was the art gallery/strip club comparison which was ??? Otherwise, a really great book.
Jan 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best, most thoughtful, and most important memoirs I've read.
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