Jonathan Kozol’s book, Amazing Grace

Review and critique of the fifth chapter of Jonathan Kozol’s book, `Amazing Grace`.

This paper offers a positive review of Jonathan Kozol’s book on poverty-ridden ghetto neighborhoods. The paper talks about the accuracy of Kozol’s description of those neighborhoods, and the author of the paper compares his own experiences growing up in a ghetto with the experiences described by Kozol.
`Gender is a key issue when analyzing the sociological issues that Kozol describes in his book. He begins Chapter Five by outlining the problem with poor women, who find that better health care services and other facilities are available in prison than on the outside. Many of them AIDS victims and drug abusers, these mothers have endured every tragedy imaginable from rape to battering. Women are therefore the worst victims of the class and race conflicts that beset their neighborhoods. As they are entrusted with raising children, the cycle of despair continues endlessly. Far from acting as victims, many women demonstrate remarkable strength and act as bastions of hope for their children. Many of the people Kozol interviews for his study are women, as the author tries to focus on the impact of poverty and race specifically on young people. When he delves into the myth of the `breakdown of the family` on page 180, it becomes clear that family problems are but a symptom of the bigger picture and cannot be blamed for society’s ills or looked at in isolation from other problems. When hospitals and schools are in the conditions they are in the Bronx and other poor neighborhoods, how can the family unit be truly to blame? Besides, many white and wealthy families experience divorce.`