THE YEAR WITHOUT AN AUTUMN by Robert Rossner

THE YEAR WITHOUT AN AUTUMN

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A Bronx science teacher recalls his experience of the 1968 New York school strike, prelude and aftermath. He begins with the anti-war preoccupations of the spring and the proximate causes of the decentralization hassle. He quits the teachers' union, volunteers to be a dean, and in the fall finds himself among the minority of ""scab"" teachers who with a group of students opened up the high school during the strike, instituting a liberated curriculum and modus operandi. The winter was full of strife, retribution and reform proposals. Rossner gets mileage out-of the administration's bewildered self-defense. When it comes to the racists, conservatives, dullards and authoritarians among his colleagues, he displays smug contempt without empathy or the true indignation which makes the students more appealing. He never gives us a systematic description of school conditions; he describes the young radicals with a condescension that might have provoked some of the mistrust he complains about. But a sense of repressive absurdities does come through (they had to fight for open bulletin boards!). It's a marginal memoir whose purpose is never quite clear. Students and teachers can get something out of. . . read many things into. . . it.

Pub Date: Nov. 19th, 1969
Publisher: Richard Baron