Published March 3, 2021
Prof. Sarah Handley-Cousins book, Bodies in Blue: Disability in the Civil War North, won the 2020 Outstanding Book Award from the Disability History Association!
Praise from the committee:
“Bodies in Blue illustrates how war wounds cut across the conventional defining lines of disability to draw illness, invisible injuries and impediments, and emotional and mental trauma into the ranks of acquired disabilities. By focusing on not only individuals such as Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain but also groups of war-wounded men such as the Invalid Corps, Bodies in Blue surveys multiple manifestations of war-related disability in the post-Union United States. Handley-Cousin's book painstakingly analyzes unusual suspects as subjects of inquiry: rather than focus on amputees, she turns her attention to a wide variety of disabilities and impairments drawn from across the historical record of the Civil War and its aftermath. In the process, Bodies of Blue broadens and deepens the historical study of Americans with disabilities, thereby simultaneously expanding both American History and Disability History. Well-written and carefully worded, Bodies in Blue demonstrates historical research and writing at its best.”
“In Bodies in Blue, Handley-Cousins features Northern Civil War veterans’ voices to create a nuanced look at the role disability played in their lives and those of their families and friends during and after the war. Acutely aware of the hold the medical model has on conceptions of the history of bodies affected by the Civil War, Handley-Cousins anticipates and addresses medical model perspectives in an effort to help forward their argument, foregrounding the lived experience of military-related disability. Handley-Cousins’s work is written with sensitivity and detail that will interest the general public and academics alike.”
If you have not read it already, check out her book.