Letters to a Young Teacher (Magill's Literary Annual 2008)
As a new teacher in Boston in the 1960’s, Jonathan Kozol began what would become his lifelong careeradvocating for students in America’s inner-city public schools. Previously, Kozol had majored in literature at Harvard University; he had spent time in England as a Rhodes Scholar, then in Paris studying writing. In 1964, upon returning to the United States, Kozol decided that he wanted to teach in the public schools. The fact that he had no preparation as a teacher proved unimportant, with Boston embroiled at that time in violent controversy about racial integration, with its school system desperate for teachers who would agree to work in the poorest, inner-city neighborhoods. Within three weeks of making his desire known, Kozol says he found himself assigned to a fourth-grade class in Roxbury, “the section of the city where the black community of Boston was confined to live, a pattern of confinement that exists unaltered to the present day.”
Kozol has focused his career (some might say, his life) on education and social justice in the United States. A passionate and prominent critic of the education-industrial complex, he is a well-known speaker, activist, and prolific writer. Kozol’s latest book is a series of letters written over an eight-month period to a new teacher named Francesca (pseudonym), workingas Kozol did forty years earlierin a Roxbury public school. Kozol explains in his introduction that Francesca initiated correspondence with...
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Bibliography (Magill's Literary Annual 2008)
Booklist 104, no. 1 (September 1, 2007): 29.
The Boston Globe, October 21, 2007, p. F7.
The Christian Science Monitor, September 4, 2007, p. 15.
Kirkus Reviews 75, no. 12 (June 15, 2007): 592-593.
Los Angeles Times, August 26, 2007, p. E2.
Publishers Weekly 254, no. 23 (June 4, 2007): 41.
Seattle Post-Intelligencer, October 6, 2007, p. E1.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch, September 2, 2007, p. F8.
The Washington Post, September 2, 2007, p. BW17.
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