Jonathan Kozol has devoted the last four decades to issues of education and social justice in America. In The Shame of the Nation, Jonathan continues the battle with his strongest, most disturbing work to date: a powerful expose of the conditions he found visiting and revisiting nearly 60 public schools in 30 different districts and in 11 states throughout the past five years. Written with deep respect and empathy for our embattled teachers, Jonathan’s work is a triumph of firsthand reporting that pays tribute to those undefeated educators who persist against the odds, but directly challenges the chilling practices now being forced upon our urban systems. His passionate narrative offers a humane, dramatic challenge to our nation to fulfill the promise made to all our children in the landmark ruling Brown v. Board of Education.
Jonathan began his career during the civil rights campaigns. He moved from Harvard Square into a poor black neighborhood of Boston and became a fourth grade teacher in the Boston Public Schools. Death at an Early Age, a description of his first year as a teacher, received the National Book Award in Science, Philosophy, and Religion. It has sold more than two million copies in the United States and Europe.
Among his other highly honored books are Rachel and Her Children, which received the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award and the Conscience in Media Award of the American Society of Journalists and Authors, and Savage Inequalities, which won the New England Book Award and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.
His best-seller, Amazing Grace: The Lives of Children and the Conscience of a Nation, described his visits to the South Bronx, the poorest congressional district in America. Praised by scholars and children’s advocates and theologians, Amazing Grace received the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award. The book has since joined Savage Inequalities and Death at an Early Age as required reading at most universities and is part of the curriculum for future teachers and religious leaders.
Jonathan’s book, Ordinary Resurrections is a favorite among schoolteachers because of its narrative of daily life seen through the eyes of children. The book was described by The Washington Post as “an eloquent love letter to a set of children” whom Jonathan has “grown to know, cherish, and delight in.”
Jonathan received a summa cum laude degree in English literature from Harvard in 1958, after which he was awarded a Rhodes scholarship to Oxford University. He has been called by The Chicago Sun-Times “today’s most eloquent spokesman for America’s disenfranchised”. Jonathan, however, believes that children speak most eloquently for themselves. Jonathan Kozol gives public recognition to those voices.
Topics by Jonathan Kozol:
“The Shame of the Nation: The Restoration of Apartheid Schooling in America”
“Still Separate, Still Unequal: The Abiding Challenge for US Public Education”
“No Child Left Behind: What are the Calamitous Pressures this Creates for our School Systems?”
“The Crisis of our Urban Schools: Where do we go from Here?”
“The Drop-Out Crisis in our Inner-City Schools: A Comprehensive Action Plan”