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Additional resources for A Life Worth Living - Selected Letters of John Holt
At the time, in light of how I thought and felt, it seemed exactly the right thing to do, and now I still think of it as one of the important experiences of my life. In the same way, I don’t feel guilty about my own schooling. All this misses the point. What I said at the beginning, of my letter to the students in Mexico was that if you feel, as I now do, that the whole institution of schooling is inherently and incurably discriminatory and repressive, an intolerable burden on the backs of poor people all over the world, a tremendous obstacle standing in the way of any real development of poor nations or communities, and also an obstacle standing between young people and their own lives— if you feel this, then indeed you should feel guilty if you go on anyway and get a diploma simply for the advantages it will give you over the people who can’t get one.
Have to stop now. Keep me posted. Did I say my third book is coming out this spring. It will be called The Underachieving School. It is a collection of articles and pieces I have already done. Oh, that reminds me; the final issue of the Saturday Evening Post has my article in it, which is already kicking up a little fuss, and may kick up more. Stay well and keep me posted and I’ll do the same. Best, Holt met Peter Marin, who was then at the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions, at the University of California Extension seminars on Non-Authoritarian Teaching that jerry Friedman, a Berkeley elementary school teacher, had organized in 1968 and again in 1969.
I am going to ask Bob Silvers, the editor of the Review, that if he feels the piece is too long for one issue, he run it in two parts—but he may not agree to this. My fingers are crossed. Not much I can add to what I have written you before and say in the review. I have by now read the book many times, going back and forth, making the literally agonizing choice of what to quote and what not, since there is not a page that could not well be quoted. I am simply filled with the book; it is in the marrow of my bones; my feeling is that someone who has not read and understood it simply doesn’t know anything.
A Life Worth Living - Selected Letters of John Holt by Susannah Sheffer