The Invention of Miracles by Katie Booth audiobook

The Invention of Miracles: Language, Power, and Alexander Graham Bell's Quest to End Deafness

By Katie Booth
Read by Samantha Desz

Simon & Schuster Audio 9781501167096
1
Format : Digital Download (In Stock)
  • $23.99
    or 1 Credit

    ISBN: 9781797123530

    $12.99 With Membership: Learn More
  • $49.99

    ISBN: 9781797123554

An astonishingly revisionist biography of Alexander Graham Bell, telling the true—and troubling—story of the inventor of the telephone. We think of Alexander Graham Bell as the inventor of the telephone, but that’s not how he saw his own career. Bell was an elocution teacher by profession. As the son of a deaf woman and, later, husband to another, his goal in life from adolescence was to teach the deaf to speak. Even his tinkering sprang from his teaching work; the telephone had its origins as a speech reading machine. And yet by the end of his life, despite his best efforts—or perhaps, more accurately, because of them—Bell had become the American Deaf community’s most powerful enemy. The Invention of Miracles recounts an extraordinary piece of forgotten history. Weaving together a moving love story with a fascinating tale of innovation, it follows the complicated tragedy of a brilliant young man who set about stamping out what he saw as a dangerous language: Sign. The book offers a heartbreaking look at how heroes can become villains and how good intentions are, unfortunately, nowhere near enough—as well as a powerful account of the dawn of a civil rights movement and the triumphant tale of how the Deaf community reclaimed their once-forbidden language. Katie Booth has been researching this story for over a decade, poring over Bell’s papers, Library of Congress archives, and the records of deaf schools around America. But she’s also lived with this story for her entire life. Witnessing the damaging impact of Bell’s legacy on her family would set her on a path that upturned everything she thought she knew about language, power, deafness, and the telephone.

Learn More
Membership Details
  • Only $12.99/month gets you 1 Credit/month
  • Cancel anytime
  • Hate a book? Then we do too, and we'll exchange it.
See how it works in 15 seconds

Summary

Summary

An astonishingly revisionist biography of Alexander Graham Bell, telling the true—and troubling—story of the inventor of the telephone.

We think of Alexander Graham Bell as the inventor of the telephone, but that’s not how he saw his own career. Bell was an elocution teacher by profession. As the son of a deaf woman and, later, husband to another, his goal in life from adolescence was to teach the deaf to speak. Even his tinkering sprang from his teaching work; the telephone had its origins as a speech reading machine. And yet by the end of his life, despite his best efforts—or perhaps, more accurately, because of them—Bell had become the American Deaf community’s most powerful enemy.

The Invention of Miracles recounts an extraordinary piece of forgotten history. Weaving together a moving love story with a fascinating tale of innovation, it follows the complicated tragedy of a brilliant young man who set about stamping out what he saw as a dangerous language: Sign. The book offers a heartbreaking look at how heroes can become villains and how good intentions are, unfortunately, nowhere near enough—as well as a powerful account of the dawn of a civil rights movement and the triumphant tale of how the Deaf community reclaimed their once-forbidden language.

Katie Booth has been researching this story for over a decade, poring over Bell’s papers, Library of Congress archives, and the records of deaf schools around America. But she’s also lived with this story for her entire life. Witnessing the damaging impact of Bell’s legacy on her family would set her on a path that upturned everything she thought she knew about language, power, deafness, and the telephone.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“A respectful yet critical biography that draws on scholarly research and her years of communicating with deaf relatives through signing…This ardent book is likely to reignite debates over what constitutes justice for the Deaf community. A well-written biography reveals less-familiar aspects of the life of the famed inventor.” Kirkus Reviews
“The revelatory biography of an inventor…[and] a profound and lyrical meditation on what it means to be human.” Steve Silberman, New York Times bestselling author
“Impassioned and scrupulously researched…Enriched with vivid sketches of Bell’s wife, Mabel Hubbard, and other historical figures, including Helen Keller, this revelatory history deserves a wide readership.” Publishers Weekly
“A fascinating tale of great love, innovation, personal drama, and the unexpected consequences of good intentions.” Walter Isaacson, #1 New York Times bestselling author

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Katie Booth

Author Bio: Katie Booth

Katie Booth teaches writing at the University of Pittsburgh. Her work has appeared in The Believer, Aeon, Catapult, and Harper’s magazine, and has been highlighted on Longreads and Longform. Booth received a number of prestigious fellowships to support the research for The Invention of Miracles, including from the Library of Congress and the Massachusetts Historical Society. She was raised bilingually and biculturally in a mixed hearing/Deaf family.

Titles by Author

Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, CD
Category: Nonfiction/Biography
Audience: Adult
Language: English