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Jonathan Kozol

writer, activist

In 1964 Jonathan Kozol began work as a teacher in low-income, predominately black Roxbury, first in a freedom school and later in a public elementary school. He grew up in Newton, was educated at Harvard and a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford. His first published nonfiction, *Death at an Early Age: The Destruction of the Hearts and Minds of Negro Children in the Boston Public Schools *(1967) winner of the National Book Award, drew upon his experiences as a fourth-grade teacher. The practice of immersing himself in the lives of his subjects became the pattern for his subsequent searing studies of the injustices a wealthy society visits upon its most vulnerable members. A commission to study the problem of adult literacy resulted in *Illiterate American* (1980). In *Rachel and Her Children: Homeless Families in America* (1988) Kozol examines the stunted lives of people deprived of the raw necessities. *Savage Inequalities* (1991) details the differences between schools in affluent neighborhoods and those attended by the children of the poor. In 1995 Kozol produced another study, this time based on first-hand experience among schoolchildren in the South Bronx: *Amazing Grace: The Lives of Children and the Conscience of a Nation*. *Ordinary Resurrections: Children in the Years of Hope* (2001) revisits the courageous and resilient children of the South Bronx.