256 pages, 7.72 × 5.08 × 0.01 in
August 25, 2011
Oxford University Press
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 019956793X
ISBN - 13: 9780199567935
Table of Contents
Prologue: case study
1. The philosopher's idiot
2. Mongols in our midst
3. The Simian Crease
4. Trisomie vingt-et-un
5. Into the mainstream
From the Publisher
For 150 years, Down's Syndrome has constituted the archetypal mental disability, easily recognisable by distinct facial anomalies and physical stigmata. In a narrow medical sense, Down's syndrome is a common disorder caused by the presence of all or part of an extra 21st chromosome. It is
named after John Langdon Down, the British asylum medical superintendent who described the syndrome as Mongolism in a series of lectures in 1866. In 1959, the disorder was identified as a chromosome 21 trisomy by the French paediatrician and geneticist Jerome Lejeune and has since been known as
Down's Syndrome (in the English-speaking world) or Trisomy 21 (in many European countries). But children and adults born with this chromosomal abnormality have an important collective history beyond their evident importance to the history of medical science.
David Wright, a Professor of History at the Institute for Health and Social Policy, McGill University, looks at the changing social responses to Down Syndrome from Medieval Europe to the present day in the first ever history of Down Syndrome.
About the Author
Dr David Wright received his D.Phil. in Modern History from the University of Oxford and then specialised, as a Wellcome Trust post-doctoral fellow, in the history of medicine. He is currently a Professor of History at the Institute for Health and Social Policy, at McGill University. Dr
Wright is the author and editor of six books on the history of mental health and psychiatry, including the first scholarly volume on the history of mental disability: (with Anne Digby, eds.) From Idiocy to Mental Deficiency: Historical Perspectives on People with Learning Disabilities (Routledge,
"Downs: The History of a Disability is an elegantly written history of intellectual disability in general, and an admirable treatment of Down's Syndrome in particular."
--Journal of the Canadian Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry