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Too late to die young : nearly true tales from a life
Harriet McBryde Johnson
Adult Nonfiction HV3013.J65 A3 2005

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From Publishers' Weekly:

It's hard to believe that one Charleston, S.C., woman, from the seat of her wheelchair, has faced off President Reagan's Secret Service detail, disrupted a National Democratic convention, joined disability advocates in Cuba and-for 13 years straight-protested the Jerry Lewis muscular dystrophy telethon. Indeed, folks with a sentimental attachment to "Jerry's kids" should start at chapter one, where Johnson explains how it felt as a youngster to watch a televised "childhood death sentence" every year. Johnson, who was born with a congenital neuromuscular disease, wants kids with disabilities to grow up "prepared to survive," not merely waiting to die. Equally problematic for the spirited lawyer are media heroes like the late Christopher Reeve, who revived "telethon melodrama" by displaying himself as "a disability object, presumably tragic but brave, someone to gawk at." Johnson, whose law practice specializes in disability advocacy, has a personal assistant, a motorized wheelchair and a supportive circle of family and friends that make her active, satisfying life possible. Readers inclined to feel sorry for people with disabilities, to offer them prayers or a pat on the head-Johnson has endured both-should spare them the very real burden of providing "disability awareness training to everyone who happens by," and read Johnson's feisty book instead. Agent, Sam Stoloff at Frances Goldin Literary Agency. (Apr. 8) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Nothing stops Johnson from defending the rights of the disabled-not even the congenital neuromuscular disease that keeps her from walking or dressing on her own. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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