James W. Trent uses public documents, private letters, investigative reports, and rare photographs to explore our changing perceptions of mental retardation over the past 150 years. He contends that the economic vulnerability of mentally retarded people (and their families), more than the claims made for their intellectual or social limitations, has determined their institutional treatment.
About the author
James W. Trent, Jr. is Associate Professor of Sociology and Social Work at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville.
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