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[[File:Keller and Sullivan.jpg|thumbnail|270px|left|Helen Keller sits with her teacher, Anne Sullivan, in an 1888 photo, taken while the Keller family was vacationing on Cape Cod, Massachusetts.]]
Helen Keller (1880–1967) is best known for her triumph over blindness, deafness, and muteness. Rescued from the isolation of her afflictions as a young girl by the Perkins Institute for the Blind teacher Anne Sullivan, Keller learned to understand a basic form of sign language and learned to “feel” and imitate the sound of the human voice. With a world of comprehension and communication opened to her, Keller excelled, graduating ''cum laude'' from Radcliffe College, eventually writing books about her life and education under Sullivan, appearing in motion pictures to demonstrate her communication methods, and campaigning for the deaf and blind around the world.
==Birth of a Leftist Consciousness==
The experience of isolation, the realization that mutual understanding and cooperation can overcome silence and darkness, and the sheer determination to be heard—all of Keller’s literal experiences—were easily translated into a push to overcome the figurative isolation, silence, and darkness that many marginalized groups were experiencing in American society during the 1910s, the period just after Keller graduated from Radcliffe. By this time, she was living with Sullivan and her new husband, John Macy, a young Harvard University instructor and a social critic. Macy was angry about the inequality he believed was caused by the machinations of the U.S. capitalist system. He was also sympathetic to the oppressive circumstances under which workers labored and the squalid conditions in which they and their families lived.