Illiterate America

Illiterate America

Author: Jonathan Kozol

Publisher: Doubleday

Published: 2011-11-02

Total Pages: 409

ISBN-13: 0307800571

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It is startling and it is shaming: in a country that prides itself on being among the most enlightened in the world, 25 million American adults cannot read the poison warnings on a can of pesticide, a letter from their child’s teacher, or the front page of a newspaper. An additional 35 million read below the level needed to function successfully in our society. The United States ranks forty-ninth among 158 member nations of the UN in literacy, and wastes over $100 billion annually as a result. The problem is not merely an embarrassment, it is a social and economic disaster. In Illiterate America, Jonathan Kozol, author of National Book Award-winning Death at an Early Age, addresses this national disgrace. Combining hard statistics and heartrending stories, he describes the economic and the human costs of illiteracy. Kozol analyses and condemns previous government action—and inaction—and, in a passionate call for reform, he proposes a specific program to conquer illiteracy. One out of every three American adults cannot read this book—which is why everyone else must.


Unscientific America

Unscientific America

Author: Chris Mooney

Publisher: Basic Books

Published: 2009-07-14

Total Pages: 224

ISBN-13: 0786744553

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Climate change, the energy crisis, nuclear proliferation—many of the most urgent problems of the twenty-first century require scientific solutions, yet America is paying less and less attention to scientists. For every five hours of cable news, less than one minute is devoted to science, and the number of newspapers with science sections has shrunk from ninety-five to thirty-three in the last twenty years. In Unscientific America, journalist and best-selling author Chris Mooney and scientist Sheril Kirshenbaum explain this dangerous state of affairs, proposing a broad array of initiatives that could reverse the current trend. An impassioned call to arms, Unscientific America exhorts Americans to reintegrate science into public discourse—before it is too late.


Thresholds of Illiteracy

Thresholds of Illiteracy

Author: Abraham Acosta

Publisher: Fordham Univ Press

Published: 2014-04-03

Total Pages: 292

ISBN-13: 0823257126

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Thresholds of Illiteracy reevaluates Latin American theories and narratives of cultural resistance by advancing the concept of “illiteracy” as a new critical approach to understanding scenes or moments of social antagonism. “Illiteracy,” Acosta claims, can offer us a way of talking about what cannot be subsumed within prevailing modes of reading, such as the opposition between writing and orality, that have frequently been deployed to distinguish between modern and archaic peoples and societies. This book is organized as a series of literary and cultural analyses of internationally recognized postcolonial narratives. It tackles a series of the most important political/aesthetic issues in Latin America that have arisen over the past thirty years or so, including indigenism, testimonio, the Zapatista movement in Chiapas, and migration to the United States via the U.S.–Mexican border. Through a critical examination of the “illiterate” effects and contradictions at work in these resistant narratives, the book goes beyond current theories of culture and politics to reveal radically unpredictable forms of antagonism that advance the possibility for an ever more democratic model of cultural analysis.


Illiteracy in America

Illiteracy in America

Author: Edward F. Dolan

Publisher: Franklin Watts

Published: 1995

Total Pages: 128

ISBN-13: 9780531111789

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Covers the rise and decline of literacy in the United States, educational and social explanations, literacy programs in the United States and other countries, and volunteer efforts and how to take part in them


White Trash

White Trash

Author: Nancy Isenberg

Publisher: Penguin

Published: 2017-04-04

Total Pages: 498

ISBN-13: 0143129678

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The New York Times Bestseller, with a new preface from the author “This estimable book rides into the summer doldrums like rural electrification. . . . It deals in the truths that matter.”—Dwight Garner, The New York Times “This eye-opening investigation into our country’s entrenched social hierarchy is acutely relevant.”—O, The Oprah Magazine “White Trash will change the way we think about our past and present.” —T. J. Stiles, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Custer’s Trials In her groundbreaking bestselling history of the class system in America, Nancy Isenberg, co-author of The Problem of Democracy, takes on our comforting myths about equality, uncovering the crucial legacy of the ever-present, always embarrassing—if occasionally entertaining—poor white trash. “When you turn an election into a three-ring circus, there’s always a chance that the dancing bear will win,” says Isenberg of the political climate surrounding Sarah Palin. And we recognize how right she is today. Yet the voters that put Trump in the White House have been a permanent part of our American fabric, argues Isenberg. The wretched and landless poor have existed from the time of the earliest British colonial settlement to today's hillbillies. They were alternately known as “waste people,” “offals,” “rubbish,” “lazy lubbers,” and “crackers.” By the 1850s, the downtrodden included so-called “clay eaters” and “sandhillers,” known for prematurely aged children distinguished by their yellowish skin, ragged clothing, and listless minds. Surveying political rhetoric and policy, popular literature and scientific theories over four hundred years, Isenberg upends assumptions about America’s supposedly class-free society––where liberty and hard work were meant to ensure real social mobility. Poor whites were central to the rise of the Republican Party in the early nineteenth century, and the Civil War itself was fought over class issues nearly as much as it was fought over slavery. Reconstruction pitted poor white trash against newly freed slaves, which factored in the rise of eugenics–-a widely popular movement embraced by Theodore Roosevelt that targeted poor whites for sterilization. These poor were at the heart of New Deal reforms and LBJ’s Great Society; they haunt us in reality TV shows like Here Comes Honey Boo Boo and Duck Dynasty. Marginalized as a class, white trash have always been at or near the center of major political debates over the character of the American identity. We acknowledge racial injustice as an ugly stain on our nation’s history. With Isenberg’s landmark book, we will have to face the truth about the enduring, malevolent nature of class as well.


Empire of Illusion

Empire of Illusion

Author: Chris Hedges

Publisher: Knopf Canada

Published: 2009-07-28

Total Pages: 242

ISBN-13: 0307398587

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Pulitzer prize–winner Chris Hedges charts the dramatic and disturbing rise of a post-literate society that craves fantasy, ecstasy and illusion. Chris Hedges argues that we now live in two societies: One, the minority, functions in a print-based, literate world, that can cope with complexity and can separate illusion from truth. The other, a growing majority, is retreating from a reality-based world into one of false certainty and magic. In this “other society,” serious film and theatre, as well as newspapers and books, are being pushed to the margins. In the tradition of Christopher Lasch’s The Culture of Narcissism and Neil Postman’s Amusing Ourselves to Death, Hedges navigates this culture — attending WWF contests as well as Ivy League graduation ceremonies — exposing an age of terrifying decline and heightened self-delusion.


The Shame of the Nation

The Shame of the Nation

Author: Jonathan Kozol

Publisher: Crown

Published: 2006-08-01

Total Pages: 434

ISBN-13: 1400052459

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Since the early 1980s, when the federal courts began dismantling the landmark ruling in Brown v. Board of Education, segregation of black children has reverted to its highest level since 1968. In many inner-city schools, a stick-and-carrot method of behavioral control traditionally used in prisons is now used with students. Meanwhile, as high-stakes testing takes on pathological and punitive dimensions, liberal education has been increasingly replaced by culturally barren and robotic methods of instruction that would be rejected out of hand by schools that serve the mainstream of society. Filled with the passionate voices of children, principals, and teachers, and some of the most revered leaders in the black community, The Shame of the Nation pays tribute to those undefeated educators who persist against the odds, but directly challenges the chilling practices now being forced upon our urban systems. In their place, Kozol offers a humane, dramatic challenge to our nation to fulfill at last the promise made some 50 years ago to all our youngest citizens.


Uncovering the Logic of English: A Common-Sense Solution to America's Literacy Crisis

Uncovering the Logic of English: A Common-Sense Solution to America's Literacy Crisis

Author: Denise Eide

Publisher: Logic of English, Inc

Published: 2011-01-27

Total Pages: 204

ISBN-13: 1936706075

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"English is so illogical!" It is generally believed that English is a language of exceptions. For many, learning to spell and read is frustrating. For some, it is impossible... especially for the 29% of Americans who are functionally illiterate. But what if the problem is not the language itself, but the rules we were taught? What if we could see the complexity of English as a powerful tool rather than a hindrance? --Denise Eide Uncovering the Logic of English challenges the notion that English is illogical by systematically explaining English spelling and answering questions like "Why is there a silent final E in have, large, and house?" and "Why is discussion spelled with -sion rather than -tion?" With easy-to-read examples and anecdotes, this book describes: - the phonograms and spelling rules which explain 98% of English words - how English words are formed and how this knowledge can revolutionize vocabulary development - how understanding the reasons behind English spelling prevents students from needing to guess The author's inspiring commentary makes a compelling case that understanding the logic of English could transform literacy education and help solve America's literacy crisis. Thorough and filled with the latest linguistic and reading research, Uncovering the Logic of English demonstrates why this systematic approach should be as foundational to our education as 1+1=2.


Poverty and Literacy

Poverty and Literacy

Author: Nathalis Wamba

Publisher: Routledge

Published: 2014-07-16

Total Pages: 130

ISBN-13: 1317978323

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There is a mutual dependence between poverty and academic achievement, creative pedagogies for low-income pupils, school models that ‘beat the odds’, and the resiliency of low-income families dedicated to the academic success of their children. This book examines the connection between poverty and literacy, looking at the potential roles and responsibilities of teachers, school administrators, researchers, and policymakers in closing the achievement gap and in reducing the effects of poverty on the literacy skill development of low-income children. There are numerous suggestions about how to improve schools so that they respond to the needs of low-income children; some argue for school reform, while others advocate social reform, and yet others suggest combining both educational reform and social reform. Without a strong foundation in literacy, children are all too often denied access to a rich and diverse curriculum. Reading and writing are passports to achievement in many other curricular areas, and literacy education plays an important role in moving people out of poverty toward greater self-sufficiency post-graduation. Schools and home environments share responsibility for literacy skill development; in school, literacy equals the acquisition of reading and writing skills, but it is also a social practice key to social mobility. The achievement gap between low-income, middle-class, and upper middle-class students illustrates the power of socioeconomic factors outside school. This book was originally published as two special issues of Reading & Writing Quarterly: Overcoming Learning Difficulties.