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Becoming a Person

Becoming a Person

The biography of Robert Martin
John McRae
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Product Code: 6167
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Becoming a Person is the uplifting and challenging story of how an intellectually disabled New Zealander helped change the world.

Brain-damaged at birth, Robert Martin was locked away as a child in places for the ‘mentally deficient’ where he suffered neglect, abuse and violence. He came to understand that he and his friends were ‘nothing people; worthless and valueless, without opinions or rights’. Robert became a runaway, a thief, a scrapper and an activist. But he also stole books and educated himself, and began a civil rights campaign in small town New Zealand that helped grow an international movement.

He travelled the world, saw horror in giant institutions and pleaded with politicians and bureaucrats for a better life for his friends. In 2003 he stood alone in a crowded hall to address the United Nations: ‘My name is Robert Martin, and I have an intellectual disability.’

Becoming a Person is an often painful, but ultimately uplifting account of a journey from nothingness to celebrity. It challenges us to re-examine our notions of what it is to be human.

Author: John McRae
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781927213193
Pages: 168
Published: Oct 2014
Size: 234 x 153 mm

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