From Library Journal
Believing with Plato that "tales which the young first hear should be models of virtuous thought," former Secretary of Education Bennett ( The De-Valuing of America , LJ 4/1/92) has produced a McGuffey's Reader for the Nineties. The author draws upon a variety of literature ranging from biblical stories to political legends and speeches to illustrate the catalog of virtues--self-discipline, compassion, work, responsibility, friendship, courage, perseverance, honesty, loyalty, faith--that he believes are foundational to strong moral character. Most selections are introduced by a short thematic note, e.g., "an honest heart will always find friends." Bennett's elevation of these virtues to moral absolutes renders the book's view of morality rather simplistic. In addition, the collection's lack of attention to women's and non-Western voices encourages the view that the experience of virtue belongs primarily to Western males. Still, this anthology will prove popular with some readers. Recommended for public libraries.- Henry L. Carrigan Jr., Westerville P.L., Ohio
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
The principled former secretary of education has culled a selection of poems and stories to be read aloud in hopes of passing on specific virtues to the younger generation. The selected works appear under chapter titles such as "Compassion"; "Responsibility"; "Friendship"; "Courage"; "Perseverance"; and "Faith." As artificial or perhaps self-righteous as this project may seem, it is effective. The old stories from the Bible, from great authors, and from folklore do exert a charm and send a message that will stir families to discuss or contemplate the issues set forth. It truly is a treasury, with some tales so brief they can be read at the dinner table. Perfect bedtime, anytime family reading. Denise Perry Donavin