Angel 's Reviews > The Shame of the Nation: The Restoration of Apartheid Schooling in America

The Shame of the Nation by Jonathan Kozol
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Oct 30, 08

bookshelves: education
Read in October, 2008, read count: 1

I usually like Kozol's works, but this one I had to drop after a while and scan. Kozol as always brings to life the situation of neglected schools and children in this country. And as he is also good at conveying a sense of outrage at how this nation simply chooses to abandon a large group of their own children. However, this particular book is extremely depressing. As an educator, I just found myself wondering if there was any hope at all. I mean, we can document the atrocity of separating children and then neglecting them. But somehow I just don't see any changes or hope that things will change. And once you reach that conclusion, the book just spirals down into a depressing and grim scenario. It's a heavy read overall, and yet, one that many educators and parents as well as those interested in education should read. I give it only two stars because the book basically left me drained. Kozol simply piles up the facts and evidence along with the children's stories. It is hard not to be outraged, and harder to keep some hope. I wish I could be more optimistic, but I don't think I can be. People have to choose change, and I get the feeling simply burying the problem is easier for them, even as we need to educate all our children if we are to have a good future.

I will likely read Kozol's other books, if he writes something new. After all, I have read most of his other books (which I have enjoyed, even if they left me outraged at times), and I even met him once. But this one was a bit too heavy for me. For teachers, I would recommend Savage Inequalities and his Letters book.
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