Bob Shepherd is a polymath, a man of remarkable learning, an author, a scholar, and at the capstone of his career, a classroom teacher.

Regular readers of this blog know him as a frequent contributor and a source of wisdom and humor.

Here is his review of my new book, SLAYING GOLIATH: THE PASSIONATE RESISTAMCE TO PRIVATIZATION AND THE FIGHT TO SAVE AMERICA’S PUBLIC SCHOOLS, which will be released on January 21 by Alfred A. Knopf, one of the nation’s finest trade publishers.

He begins:

In these dark days of Trumpism, reasons for optimism are the spar to which the rest of us, the passengers on the now disastrously helmed ship of state, attempt to cling. Diane Ravitch’s new book, Slaying Goliath is such a spar. It’s a celebration of those who have pushed back against the oligarch-led disruption and attempted privatization of our preK-12 educational system. But it’s more than just a lot of cheering stories (though it is that, and we need those; reading this, you will find yourself cheering again and again). It’s also, effectively, a manual for the Resistance, a how-to book detailing a way forward not only for parents and teachers but for workers generally (and so, like classrooms themselves, it has profound import beyond the classroom)….

Like Uncle Tom’s Cabin or Silent Spring, Slaying Goliath is one of those books that can make important change happen. Tremble, oligarchs, for our Jeanne d’Arc, our Boadicea, our David is in the field, and millions are ranged behind her, not many millions of Gates or Koch or Walton dollars, mind you, but millions of teachers and students and parents and others who care about public schools and other democratic institutions. As Ravitch explains in this book, education disruption and deformation (so-called “Reform”) is not a real movement. It depends entirely on paid, Vichy collaborators with a handful of profiteering oligarchs in the Billionaire Boys and Girls’ Club. But that makes it all the more insidious, pernicious, dangerous.