Jonathan Kozol's Death at an Early Age: A Review

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Death at an Early Age: The Review
Brandon Kennedy
I am reviewing Jonathan Kozol’s auto-biography, Death at an Early Age. This piece of literature provides the reader with an in-depth, personable account of schools of the 1960’s and the corruption that had flourished. Throughout this piece Kozol told of grim stories about public schools throughout Boston, Massachusetts; many of which would be incredibly disturbing. I believe Kozol’s thesis was the following: although legal segregation had been abolished in 1954, (Brown v Board) socio-economic segregation was still in full effect over ten years later. Or in other words, even though segregation had come to an end, African Americans were still denied fundamental rights, including an education. It is obvious that Kozol is writing this because he was very much appalled by the public school system throughout Boston. Countless times throughout the text Kozol speaks of his disgust in the treatment of the blacks. Kozol is trying to show the reader not only how blacks were denied a basic education, but the prevalent racism that existed throughout the north. Perhaps Kozol was writing this for reform, perhaps he wrote it to enlighten others. This book could be geared towards any educated audience, and would be a great read for anyone going into the field of education. I personally found this to be a great read; Kozol was able to bring up many valid points, make the reader think, and keep the reader entertained. Although the book was disturbing in many aspects, I found as I went the pages become easier and easier to turn. Overall I found this to be both entertaining and educational.

This piece began in the academic year of 1964, the same year as the Civil Rights bill was passed. Jon Kozol was a substitute teacher who had worked in Boston for nearly 5 years now. Kozol’s text moved in chronological order throughout the story. He recently had landed a full time substitute job at Roxbury Elementary. He goes on about the...
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