Storm in the Mountains: A Case Study of Censorship, Conflict, and Consciousness

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9780809315840: Storm in the Mountains: A Case Study of Censorship, Conflict, and Consciousness

In 1974 one of the most important and tumultuous textbook conflicts in the history of the United States occurred in Kanawha County, West Virginia.

James Moffett had developed for Houghton Mifflin a highly regarded program with a rich array of subjects and ideas, media and methods, points of view, and cultures that the people of Appalachia feared would undermine the values they had taught their children.

Moffett lets the book banners speak for themselves through interviews and through the official objections written by citizen reviewers of the texts. He shows exactly how the protesters regard particular reading selections and ultimately, how they think. His commentary on their objections builds an unusually broad perspective on censorship, which he relates to many current issues of society learning, and—the chief concern of the protesters—religion.

Storm in the Mountains is a timely book. The Kanawha County ruckus emboldened censors to escalate their efforts. Textbook publishers routinely precensor texts to avoid the objections dramatized in West Virginia. And fundamentalism has become a major political force.

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About the Author:

James Moffett, national consultant in English education to schools and universities and author in education, is the author of Student-Centered Language Arts and Reading, K–13: A Handbook for Teachers (with Betty Jane Wagner); Teaching the Universe of Discourse; Active Voice: A Writing Program across the Curriculum; and Coming on Center: Essays in English Education. His school materials include, as senior author/editor, Interaction: A Student-Centered Language Arts and Reading Program K–12, and, as senior editor with others, Active Voices, I–IV. Moffett’s anthologies include Points of View: An Anthology of Short Stories, edited with Kenneth R. McElheny, and Points of Departure: An Anthology of Nonfiction.
 

Review:

"Moffett himself is partisan but never shrill. He is emphatic, but refreshing in that he proudly says he does not share the current liberal fashion of condescending to speak well of fundamentalists even when they need rejoinder and countering. He hears, testifies to whatever is plausible in the New Right vision, and then argues with it usually to telling effect. If for nothing else, read the book for the interview transcripts." The Christian Century



"Moffett seeks a common denominator of some classic conservative causes, asking why those who extol militarism, ethnocentrism, and corporal and capital punishment are the same ones who crusade for phonics and literal interpretation of the Bible while scourging communism, homosexuality, and women’s rights." The Education Digest

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