For two years, beginning in 1988, Jonathan Kozol visited schools in neighborhoods across the country, from Illinois to Washington D.C., and from New York to San Antonio. He spoke with teachers, principals, superintendents, and, most important, children. What he found was devastating. Not only were schools for rich and poor blatantly unequal, the gulf between the two extremes was widening and it has widened since. The urban schools he visited were overcrowded and understaffed, and lacked the basic elements of learning including books and, all too often, classrooms for the students.
In Savage Inequalities, Kozol delivers a searing examination of the extremes of wealth and poverty and calls into question the reality of equal opportunity in our nation's schools.
“An impassioned book, laced with anger and indignation, about how our public education system scorns so many of our children.” –New York Times Book Review
“I was unprepared for the horror and shame I felt… Savage Inequalities is a savage indictment…Everyone should read this important book.” –Robert Wilson, USA Today
“Kozol has written a book that must be read by anyone interested in education.” –Elizabeth Duff, Philadelphia Inquirer
“The forces of equity have now been joined by a powerful voice…Kozol has written a searing exposé of the extremes of wealth and poverty in America’s school system and the blighting effect on poor children, especially those in cities.” –Emily Mitchell, Time
“Easily the most passionate, and certain to be the most passionately debated, book about American education in several years…A classic American muckraker with an eloquent prose style, Kozol offers…an old-fashioned brand of moral outrage that will affect every reader whose heart has not yet turned to stone.” –Entertainment Weekly
“Moving…Shocking…Heartbreaking.” –Ruth Sidel, The Nation
“It is neither ironic nor paradoxical to call Savage Inequalities a wonderful book—for Kozol makes it clear that there are wonderful teachers and wonderful students in every American school, no matter what ugliness, violence, and horror surround the building.”—Chicago Tribune
“The great virtue of Jonathan Kozol’s new book about inner-city school sis that it overcomes that ‘everybody knows’ problem by bringing an undulled capacity for shock and outrage to a tour of bad schools across the country. As soon as Kozol begins leading the way through a procession of overcrowded, underheated, textbookless, barely taught classrooms, the thought he surely intended to engender begins to take form: How can this be?” –Washington Post Book World
“Poor children of all colors are increasingly looked upon as surplus baggage, mistakes that should never have happened. Indeed, an older view is returning that any attempts to educate the lower orders are doomed to fail. There can be more than one way to read the title of Jonathan Kozol’s depressing—and essential—book.” – Andrew Hacker, New York Times Book Review
“Mr. Kozol exposes lemons in American educational facilities I the same way Ralph Nader attacked Detroit automobile makers.” –Herbert Mitgang, New York Times
“This book digs so deeply into the tragedy o the American system of public education that it wrenches the reader’s psyche…A must-read for every parent, every educator, and every relevant policymaker.” --Alex Haley, author of Roots and The Autobiography of Malcolm X
“A powerful appeal to save children by redistributing the wealth. It will cause angry, but perhaps fruitful, debate.” –Kirkus Reviews
“Startling and compelling…Crucial to any serious debate on the current state of American education.”
“A superb, heart-wrenching portrait of the resolute injustice which decimates so many of America’s urban schools.” –David J. Garrow, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Bearing the Cross