Nelson Mandela's legacy is known worldwide, and his life has been widely documented. His memory is preserved in statues, paintings, feature films, history books, and biographies. Yet to many Americans, Mandela may be somewhat unknown. Many people around the world consider Mandela one of the greatest leaders of the twentieth century.
How I Became a Human Being is Mark O'Brien’s account of his struggles to lead an independent life despite a lifelong disability. In 1955 he contracted polio and became permanently paralyzed from the neck down. O'Brien describes growing up without the use of his limbs, his adolescence struggling with physical rehabilitation and suffering the bureaucracy of hospitals and institutions, and his adult life as an independent student and writer. Despite his physical limitations, O'Brien crafts a narrative that is as rich and vivid as the life he led.