Uniformly written and passionately considered, the collection brims with ideas, memories and hope for creatively inspired...




Incensed by recent trends to eliminate arts education from public-school curriculums, co-editors Kohl and Oppenheim present 20 insightful essays in a bid to draw attention to the cultural and developmental significance of the cause.

National Book Award winner Kohl (The Herb Kohl Reader, 2011, etc.) is angered by the myth that the arts “are merely frills or embellishments to a meaningful education,” while Oppenheim, artistic director of New York City’s Stella Adler Studio of Acting (and Adler’s grandson) reiterates the social functionality of teaching the arts to less-fortunate youth, “no matter how difficult their circumstances.” A live panel discussion in 2008 inspired these insightful essays from a variety of artists in many mediums. Recollecting her dyslexic childhood enlivened by theater, Whoopi Goldberg believes in the nurturing of the “artistic voice.” Rosie Perez comments that her current work on the board of a nonprofit arts organization allows her to promote creativity to children in inner-city NYC. Phylicia Rashad testifies to the good fortune of a high-school experience rich in artistic programs and creative encouragement; she pleads for a continuation of arts cultivation in schools, thwarting what she calls a “nation of robots.” Heartfelt thoughts from collegiate scholars like Bill Ayers and Deborah Meier lend a necessary urgency to the cause, as does education professor and MacArthur recipient Lisa Delpit, who remarks that “the arts allow us a lens to see gifts that may not be immediately evident.” The dedicated work of former professional dancer and artist Frances Lucerna and linguistic anthropologist Shirley Brice Heath offer prime examples of how the arts can be successfully integrated into school curriculums.

Uniformly written and passionately considered, the collection brims with ideas, memories and hope for creatively inspired students.

Pub Date: Feb. 7, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-59558-539-4

Page Count: 240

Publisher: The New Press

Review Posted Online: Dec. 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2011

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The sub-title of this book is "Reflections on Education with Special Reference to the Teaching of English in the Upper Forms of Schools." But one finds in it little about education, and less about the teaching of English. Nor is this volume a defense of the Christian faith similar to other books from the pen of C. S. Lewis. The three lectures comprising the book are rather rambling talks about life and literature and philosophy. Those who have come to expect from Lewis penetrating satire and a subtle sense of humor, used to buttress a real Christian faith, will be disappointed.

Pub Date: April 8, 1947

ISBN: 1609421477

Page Count: -

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 17, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1947

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Carefully researched and chilling, if somewhat overwritten.


Comprehensive, myth-busting examination of the Colorado high-school massacre.

“We remember Columbine as a pair of outcast Goths from the Trench Coat Mafia snapping and tearing through their high school hunting down jocks to settle a long-running feud. Almost none of that happened,” writes Cullen, a Denver-based journalist who has spent the past ten years investigating the 1999 attack. In fact, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold conceived of their act not as a targeted school shooting but as an elaborate three-part act of terrorism. First, propane bombs planted in the cafeteria would erupt during lunchtime, indiscriminately slaughtering hundreds of students. The killers, positioned outside the school’s main entrance, would then mow down fleeing survivors. Finally, after the media and rescue workers had arrived, timed bombs in the killers’ cars would explode, wiping out hundreds more. It was only when the bombs in the cafeteria failed to detonate that the killers entered the high school with sawed-off shotguns blazing. Drawing on a wealth of journals, videotapes, police reports and personal interviews, Cullen sketches multifaceted portraits of the killers and the surviving community. He portrays Harris as a calculating, egocentric psychopath, someone who labeled his journal “The Book of God” and harbored fantasies of exterminating the entire human race. In contrast, Klebold was a suicidal depressive, prone to fits of rage and extreme self-loathing. Together they forged a combustible and unequal alliance, with Harris channeling Klebold’s frustration and anger into his sadistic plans. The unnerving narrative is too often undermined by the author’s distracting tendency to weave the killers’ expressions into his sentences—for example, “The boys were shooting off their pipe bombs by then, and, man, were those things badass.” Cullen is better at depicting the attack’s aftermath. Poignant sections devoted to the survivors probe the myriad ways that individuals cope with grief and struggle to interpret and make sense of tragedy.

Carefully researched and chilling, if somewhat overwritten.

Pub Date: April 6, 2009

ISBN: 978-0-446-54693-5

Page Count: 406

Publisher: Twelve

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2009

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