A Secretly Handicapped Man

A Memoir by Norbert  Nathanson

After more than 30 years weathering stares and severe public and professional stigma, growing up in the working class of Depression Era Pittsburgh, and trying desperately to enter the new burgeoning field of television, the author experienced a miracle. Born without feet and with only one hand, new advances in medical science provided artificial legs which gave him a normal height, a natural appearance and gait, and permitted him to enjoy a previously unknown, life altering public anonymity. Being out of the spotlight of public stigma brought him peace. He never shared his story, and held his secrets fiercely. He has never seen himself as being different, nor defined himself in dramatic terms. An experienced, serious and driven educator and television executive, outdoorsman, sailor, carpenter, fisherman, he has formed his reality. His survival is a triumph, his life a victory. He doesn't understand that his accomplishments are remarkable.

Students of sociology and psychology will find this book a valuable commentary on how society has treated the handicapped over the past 80+ years.


About the Author

“In the space of seventy years I was variously labeled as crippled, deformed, handicapped and disabled, more recently as a person with disabilities, and currently as physically challenged. The evolving choice of epithets traces the gradual changes in societal perceptions, but all these terms have a common theme; they designate someone who is different." Norbert Nathanson, Northport, ME


“…it is truly inspirational…it will help other people to have a greater appreciation of the issues you so eloquently describe by your experiences.        ”Dr. Anthony Grieco, NYU Medical School


Professional Reviews:

“The book provides any reader, casual or otherwise, deep insights into the life of a person born very different physically and later transformed into yet another physical being. That makes the story unique, in a class of its own. I come away from it with a much deeper understanding of the impact of handicapping conditions on a person’s development. Not a tear or moment of heartache is left out. What this man went through in his rise above adversity is inspirational in every respect.”       Don Ferguson, Dean Emeritus, School of Education, New Mexico State University


"What I so admire is the lack of self pity. It is one painful step forward after another, instead of railing at the world. The author gives us a metaphor for many people's life. And the memoir holds a happy ending after all the difficult decisions he had to make."      Diane H. Schetky, M.D., retired psychiatrist and poet.


Retail price: $19.95

20% discount ordered through this site: $15.96
ISBN-13: 978-098956893

Press for A Secretly Handicapped Man:

Read book excerpt at salon.com

Read book excerpt at 5election.com

Read article about the author’s early days in broadcasting at Current.org

Article called “Small Screen Pioneer” at Pittsburgh Magazine

Norbert Nathanson was named one of Maine’s most Fascinating People by WVII  

Article in the Penobscot Bay Pilot

Article about author appearance in The Ithacan