Wheels of Courage: How Paralyzed Veterans from World War II Invented Wheelchair Sports, Fought for Disability Rights, and Inspired a Nation

January 28, 2021

David Davis presents his 2020 book, Wheels of Courage: How Paralyzed Veterans from World War II Invented Wheelchair Sports, Fought for Disability Rights, and Inspired a Nation

A link to Taylor’s pre-recorded Virtual Legacy Lecture will be emailed directly to Foundation members on December 10, 2020 at 5:30PM.

To join as a George C. Marshall Foundation member, please visit our member page.

For more information on becoming a member, call Leigh McFaddin at 540-463-7103, ext. 138 or email mcfaddinlh@marshallfoundation.org

A part of the George C. Marshall Legacy Series

Purchase the book here.

About the Lecture

Wheels of Courage reveals the inspiring story of the world’s first wheelchair athletes: U.S. soldiers, sailors, and Marines who were paralyzed on the battlefield during World War II. They organized the first-ever wheelchair basketball teams within V.A. hospitals after the war, which quickly spread across the nation and changed the perception and treatment of disabled people. This book follows the lives of three of these vets, describing their time in the military, their injuries, their recovery, and their role in creating wheelchair basketball.
These men changed the narrative of disability, from one of pity to a new story of hope and endless potential. Their doctors changed the way the medical community looked at and treated disabled patients by treating the whole patient instead of just trying to make people as comfortable as possible in hopeless situations. And laws started changing to make the world more accessible to the disabled — things we take for granted today, like sidewalk ramps.
For the disabled, for sports fans, for veterans, for history buffs — this is a narrative of hope, perseverance, and acceptance.

About the Speaker

David Davis has documented the culture of sports-in words, images, and sound-for nearly three decades. He was trained as a journalist, and his work has appeared in, among others, Sports IllustratedSmithsonian MagazineThe New York TimesThe Los Angeles TimesThe Wall Street JournalDeadspin, and Vice. David has won numerous journalism and writing awards, and his LA Weekly story about boxer Jerry Quarry (“The Thirteenth Round”) was selected for The Best American Sports Writinganthology in 1996.
Miscellaneous Entertainment, a production company based in Hollywood, has optioned the film rights to his book Waterman. David was born and raised in New York City, and lives in Los Angeles.