March 08, 2007

Savage Inequalities


Words fail me. I'm not sure I can finish this , it's making me sick. I feel like I'm in a time warp, reading about Dickens' London.

I looked up East St Louis on Wikipedia but apart from the crime statistics, the entry gives little hint as to the horrors depicted in Kozol's book. Maybe he made it up. I remember reading about Buckminster Fuller's ambitious and creative plan for the city. Too bad it never happened. That looked like fun.

These photos and commentary give a somewhat more detailed description. The photos were taken about 10 years after Kozol's book was published. The commentary bears out some of Kozol's descriptions

Over here are more photos and comments and questions to and from people who have some connection to the place, who were born there, live there now or went to school there. Someone asks if the city is really as bad as Kozol paints in Savage Inequalities, and someone writes back, " Unfortunately, the situation deteriorated further after that publication...." Whoah! Altho at least a couple of commenters (including that one quoted) point out that things are looking up, apparently. I pray they are, and stay that way.

An amazon.com commenter
wrote, "Don't read this at night ~ This book will turn you into an activist".

I sometimes get a feeling like Kozol has a deep sense of guilt about what he observes, mixed in there with the genuine compassion:

But if one knows the future that awaits them, it is terrible to see their eyes look up to you with friendliness and trust - to see this and to know what is in store for them." (p 45)

Dang! Even the pathos is Dickensian.

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