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This first comprehensive history of the Deaf is also a powerful and compassionate study of the anatomy of prejudice and the motives and means of oppression. It is a narrative, told largely from the vantage point of Laurent Clerc, the deaf Frenchman who was an intellectual leader of the Deaf community in France and then in America. Ultimately, the story of the Deaf is a tragic one, as educators throughout history have sought to abolish sign language from the education of the deaf. The debate, involving such issues as minority rights, integration (or mainstreaming ), and bilingual education, rages anew today. When the Mind Hears vividly conveys the anger and frustration of those who, deprived of their language, are deprived of their rightful heritage.