Becoming A Person by John McRae
The Biography of Robert Martin

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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 how an intellectually disabled New Zealander helped change the world. It challenges us to re-examine our notions of what it is to be human.

About John McRae

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Published November 4, 2014 by Craig Potton Publishing. 140 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs.