Robert Coles is a psychiatrist and writer. Until recently, he was the Agee Professor of Social Ethics at Harvard. His many books include The Moral Intelligence of Children and Bruce Springsteen’s America: The People Listening, a Poet Singing. Coles received a Pulitzer Prize in 1973 for Children of Crisis, a MacArthur Award in 1981, the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1998, and the National Humanities Medal in 2001.


Growing Up East German

Twelve Years: An American Boyhood in East Germany

by Joel Agee
James Agee was a writer of strong talent and many interests, but when he died at forty-five he was by no means the master of his discerning, anguished intellect, not to mention his tempestuous emotions. Even at Harvard he had called attention to himself by the way he lived as …

Lost Generation

The Children Are Dying

by Ned O'Gorman
For years Ned O’Gorman, a white man, a poet, an essayist, has been working with Harlem’s young black children in a storefront nursery and children’s library he founded. He has already written two books about the nursery: The Wilderness and the Laurel Tree and The Storefront. This latest book, with …

Victims of Soviet Psychiatry: A Report from Honolulu

Psychiatric Terror: How Soviet Psychiatry Is Used to Suppress Dissent

by Sidney Bloch and Peter Reddaway
In the Soviet Union today, Marxist and psychiatric ideologues work together efficiently, even smoothly. This is a fairly recent development. During the power struggles of the 1920s and the mass purges of the 1930s, there was no need for the Kremlin’s self-proclaimed Marxists to summon assistance from psychiatrists. In Stalin’s …

Stricken Boston

A City in Terror: 1919
The Boston Police Strike

by Francis Russell
Boston, during the past winter and spring, offered Southerners a fistful of ironies. While schools in Mississippi’s Delta or the so-called Black Belt of Alabama, just over ten years ago the bastions of segregationist resistance to the civil rights movement, have been quietly desegregated for several years, Boston’s schools have …

Children and Politics: Outsiders

How do Hopi or Pueblo boys or girls in Arizona and New Mexico regard the United States of America, its leaders, its political system, and its traditions as a democracy? As one spends time with those boys and girls it is, more often than not, hard to believe that the …

The Politics of Middle Class Children

A black child of eight, a girl who lives in southern Alabama, just above Mobile, told me in 1968 that she knew one thing for sure about who was going to be president: he’d be a white man; and as for his policies, “no matter what he said to be …