Bill Bryson’s African Diary

Bill Bryson’s African Diary Bill Bryson, 2002. This is a short book but I thought I’d review it because it was sponsored by CARE, the international charity. Bryson visited Kenya for a brief 8-day tour, sponsored by CARE, so he could add some celebrity status to their work and give them a nice little book. His journey included very brief visits to locations where the charity is doing some badly

The Death and Life of the Great American School System, How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education

The Death and Life of the Great American School System, How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education Diane Ravitch, Basic Books, 2010   Review by Graham Mulligan   Two key ideas are presented at the start of this book, the collapse of communism and its corollary, the victory of the free market and “seeing like a state” policymaking, which is really planning for the future based on a theory of

Class Warfare; Inside the Fight to Fix America’s Schools

Class Warfare; Inside the Fight to Fix America’s Schools Steven Brill, Simon & Schuster, 2011   Reviewed by Graham Mulligan   This book is a blatant union bashing political rant masquerading as an insider look at America’s education struggles. I found it very awkwardly written with its eighty-plus ‘chapters’, which were sometimes a page and a half long. There is very little effort made by the author to present the

River Town

River Town – Two Years on the Yantze by Peter Hessler (2001) Reviewed by Graham Mulligan I left a copy of this book in the apartment in Xiamen for teachers to read. The book is about the author’s 2-year stay in Fuling, Sichuan Province, in 1996-98, as part of a Peace Corps project to teach English and American literature to prospective teachers at the local Normal School. Hessler’s book is