E. D. Hirsch Jr. is the founder and chairman of the Core Knowledge Foundation and professor emeritus of education and humanities at the University of Virginia. He is the author, most recently, of The Making of Americans: Democracy and Our Schools. (May 2010)


How to Save the Schools

Dianna Agron, front left, and Cory Monteith, front right, in the television series Glee

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

by Diane Ravitch
Diane Ravitch is without rival as a historian of modern American schooling. Her newest, most sensational book, The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice are Undermining Education takes aim at imposing targets. It won’t be ignored.

The Primal Scene of Education

It is said that American prosperity is fading in a bleach of educational incompetence, and that a large proportion of our incoming work force can neither adjust to new technologies nor perform high-level communicative tasks. “In math and science,” the education researcher John Chubb recently observed, “U.S. students rank dead …

Irvin Ehrenpreis (1920–1985)

Irvin Ehrenpreis, a frequent contributor to The New York Review, died in Germany on the third of July, after a fall from which he did not regain consciousness. He was sixty-five years old, in excellent health and vigor, and in the midst of numerous scholarly and journalistic projects. Both here …

Carnal Knowledge

The Genesis of Secrecy: On the Interpretation of Narrative

by Frank Kermode
This suggestive book on the nature of interpretation, based on Frank Kermode’s recent Norton lectures, draws on his reading of works by Kafka, Henry Green, Thomas Pynchon, and James Joyce, as well as the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. From his examination of these and other texts Kermode …