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A History and Sociology of the Willowbrook State School introduces the reader to the Willowbrook State School, a place that many feel is the “ground zero” of the disabilities civil rights movement.
The book explores the period before Geraldo Rivera’s sensational television exposé in 1972. The early history of institutions in New York State, New York City, and Staten Island provides a backdrop demonstrate the “medicalization” of disability, which led to the creation of large-scale institutions.
The authors describe in great detail what life was like for the people who lived and worked at Willowbrook and how the institution evolved as it did. First-hand observations and testimonials on life at Willowbrook provide a window into the interpersonal dynamics and interactions of life and work in institutional settings.