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When Kevin Fitzgerald was a kid in Collyhurst, Manchester in the 1940s, it was a completely different place from today, with its flowers, trees and grass. That is not to say that it was a bad place, despite the bomb sites and crofts. In many ways it was a good place to live, especially in Collyhurst Flats, where everybody knew each other and neighbours were always ready to help and lend a hand. As the years have all too quickly passed there cannot be many people left now who can remember the horrors of the Manchester blitz, which Kevin vividly describes in this book. Kevin had a happy childhood, playing with his mates in the streets, getting up to mischief like normal healthy kids. Tragically, all this was to change when he contracted meningitis after an accident whilst playing amongst the bomb-scarred landscape. This left him profoundly deaf and at the mercy of so-called expertsA" and the subjective dogma of the Catholic Church. Consequently, he was packed off to St John's Institution for the Deaf and Dumb, where he spent the next eight years in a state of virtual incarceration at the hands of the Church and the sisters who were its jailers. Deafness of the Mind is the story of that incarceration. It is a story that will enthral you; it will make you smile and also make you weep as Kevin recounts his life in the institution, the friends he made there and the camaraderie that was forged in those years of wartime Britain, a camaraderie that has lasted right up to the present day, nearly seventy years later. Moreover, Kevin sheds light on how generations of deaf children were treated as second class citizens, denied a proper education and eventually forced out into the world totally unprepared for life on the outside. Deafness of the Mind is a book that you will enjoy, despair at the treatment meted out to deaf children, and, undoubtedly, learn something from.