Share this

Out of the Horrors of War: Disability Politics in World War II America, Audra Jennings

Reviewed by Aimee Medeiros



Audra Jennings offers an in-depth look at the early history of the modern disability rights movement by examining disability activism during World War II and its significance. In doing do, she aims to correct the widely held misconception that this movement in the United States grew solely out of the civil rights movement of the 1960s, an interpretation that strips disability activism of its own important political history.

The focus of this book is the story of the American Federation of the Physically Handicapped (AFPH). While Jennings is quick to point out that the AFPH was not the founding organization of the disability rights movement, she argues that it did play a transformative role in its development. Unlike previous disability groups, AFPH was a “national, cross-disability social movement organization” that brought together disabled citizens and veterans (p. 3). This created a sense of shared experiences beyond a specific type of disability and fostered an understanding that disability exclusions were attributable to systemic discrimination and not individual failures or misunderstandings. The AFPH also championed a “society in which state policy made possible disabled individuals’ full participation in civic life” (p. 3). While the notion of the role of the federal government underwent a major overhaul during the Great De

To continue reading, see options above.

About PSQ's Editor

Demetrios James Caraley

Full Access

Join the Academy of Political Science and automatically receive Political Science Quarterly.

Editor’s spotlight

Primaries and Conventions

Will the Outcome be “Democratic”?: Delegate Selection and the 2020 Primaries
Marianna Palumbo and Robert Y. Shapiro

On To the Convention, Again
Caroline Monahan and Robert Y. Shapiro


Search the Archives

Publishing since 1886, PSQ is the most widely read and accessible scholarly journal with distinguished contributors such as: Lisa Anderson, Robert A. Dahl, Samuel P. Huntington, Robert Jervis, Joseph S. Nye, Jr., Theda Skocpol, Woodrow Wilson

view additional issues

Most read

Articles | Book reviews

Understanding the Bush Doctrine
Robert Jervis

The Study of Administration
Woodrow Wilson

Notes on Roosevelt's "Quarantine" Speech
Dorothy Borg

view all

New APS Book

Presidential Selection and Democracy   PRESIDENTIAL SELECTION AND DEMOCRACY


Money and Poltics Webinar

April 6, 2020

This event is part of the nearly yearlong Challenges and Opportunities in 2020 election series.  The series fosters interdisciplinary conversations exploring themes affecting the upcoming election and trust in our democratic institutions.


About US

Academy of Political Science

The Academy of Political Science, promotes objective, scholarly analyses of political, social, and economic issues. Through its conferences and publications APS provides analysis and insight into both domestic and foreign policy issues.

Political Science Quarterly

With neither an ideological nor a partisan bias, PSQ looks at facts and analyzes data objectively to help readers understand what is really going on in national and world affairs.

Stay Connected

newsstand locator
About APS