Saturday, December 16, 2006

No sense of history

Among the books brought home from the return cart is one by Mary Gordon, about her father, who died when she was seven. One of her greatest disappointments seems to have been to learn that he did not graduate from high school and that at the age of sixteen was a stenographer for the B&O. People with a good enough education and degree of skill to hold down that job were fairly thin on the ground before WWI. It has always seemed to me that an eighth-grade education from almost any year before WWII is about the equivalent of a run-of-the-mill undegraduate college degree of today. The NYT reviewer didn't care for this book much more than I did.


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