War on Ignorance

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The essays of Kozol (p. 283ff), Barry (p. 307ff), and Gardner (p. 319) point out that the future of America is in danger because Americans are losing the war against ignorance. Each of the three authors gave different reasons why this is happening. However, while the over-all picture painted is a sad and gloomy one, each one offers a glimmer of hope that there continues to be a light at the end of the tunnel, although chances are that light may well be an oncoming train if the reader does not do well to heed the appeals of the authors.

Introduction

He punctuates his lamentations with a litany of what illiterates cannot do: "Illiterates cannot read the menu at a restaurantcannot look up numbers in a telephone directorycannot read the notices they receive from welfare offices" (284).
Kozol puts some of the blame on the parents of the past who neglected their duty to educate themselves, passing off to their illiteracy as an heirloom to their offspring, misery begetting more misery when human survival in our society is almost impossible without the mental ability needed to do so. He, however, puts most of the blame on the government and the education officials whose job it is to ensure that as many as possible should benefit in our democratic and wealthy society, crying that "so long as 60 million Americans are denied significant participation, the government is neither of, nor for, nor by the people" (286).
After laying out the costs paid both by those who suf ...
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