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Books

Book Review

‘Fire in the Ashes’ by Jonathan Kozol

Boston-born education activist Jonathan Kozol has been following the lives of marginalized children in the South Bronx for decades and through a dozen books, describing in award-winning detail how this nation’s “savage inequalities” have devastated the individuals, families, and communities he has observed firsthand.

In Kozol’s new book, “Fire in the Ashes,” he revisits those same families, bringing readers up to date on their often-troubled lives. What Kozol’s latest reveals in often-depressing detail is something far more valuable than dry sociological studies and mind-numbing statistics: He shows readers the everyday lives of people, especially children, doing their best with limited resources, such as flawed schools, uncertain security in their neighborhoods, absent or imprisoned fathers, and a lack of job opportunities. There are few triumphs in the bleak landscapes Kozol visits.

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