Teacher by Mark Edmundson
The One Who Made the Difference

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In 1969, Mark Edmundson was a typical high school senior in working-class Medford, Massachusetts. He loved football, disdained schoolwork, and seemed headed for a factory job in his hometown—until a maverick philosophy teacher turned his life around.

When Frank Lears, a small, nervous man wearing a moth-eaten suit, arrived at Medford fresh from Harvard University, his students pegged him as an easy target. Lears was unfazed by their spitballs and classroom antics. He shook things up, trading tired textbooks for Kesey and Camus, and provoking his class with questions about authority, conformity, civil rights, and the Vietnam War. He rearranged seats and joined in a ferocious snowball fight with Edmundson and his football crew. Lears’s impassioned attempts to get these kids to think for themselves provided Mark Edmundson with exactly the push he needed to break away from the lockstep life of Medford High. Written with verve and candor, Teacher is Edmundson’s heartfelt tribute to the man who changed the course of his life.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

About Mark Edmundson

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Mark Edmundson is NEH/Daniels Family Distinguished Teaching Professor at the University of Virginia. A prizewinning scholar, he is the author of Literature Against Philosophy, Plato to Derrida, and the widely praised memoir, Teacher: The One Who Made the Difference. He has written for the New Republic, the New York Times Magazine, the Nation, and Harper's, where he is a contributing editor.
Published December 18, 2007 by Vintage. 290 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs. Non-fiction

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Drawing an exquisite picture of the stark social dynamics in working-class Medford (his grandmother, a chambermaid who cleaned rooms at Radcliffe, was sometimes given unwanted clothing by the students and referred to it as shopping at Cumlaude), Edmundson remembers that the students lived to torm...

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Publishers Weekly

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and Charlottesville and Richmond, Va., will generate interest, as will probable media play from the mags Edmundson writes for, including the New Republic, the New York Times Magazine, the Nation and Harper's.

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Entertainment Weekly

Someone should be fired for the title, which conjures damp tales of the Stand and Deliver or Dangerous Minds school: Edmundson's story of Franklin Lears' philosophy course at a working-class Boston-area high school in the late '60s deserves better.

Aug 09 2002 | Read Full Review of Teacher: The One Who Made the...

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