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Alex Kotlowitz's There Are No Children Here, a narrative of two children growing up in a Chicago ghetto, is worth reading for a real picture of black urban poverty. While both liberals and conservatives could probably read into it their own particular biases and come away with their views intact, the book itself is commendably devoid of sweeping political statements. Kotlowitz is highly objective, which is both his strength and his weakness: he avoids propagandizing, but simultaneously he neglects the impact he himself had on the family he chronicles. The only mentions he makes of his own presence are in the foreword, the epilogue, and the notes. My only other quibble with Kotlowitz was his tendency to recreate (and vividly describe) scenes at which was not present; however, I also recognize the necessity of doing so for the interest of the book and I think his reconstructions were more or less accurate.--CurtisVinson

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Last edited May 24, 2001 17:20 (diff)