Victims of Dick and Jane

Victims of Dick and Jane

and Other Essays

by Samuel Blumenfeld
Trade Paperback, 252 pages
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Essay collections aren't usually the best way to understand an author's overall philosophy, but they almost always make extremely entertaining reading. Samuel Blumenfeld's The Victims of Dick & Jane and Other Essays pretty well encompasses his philosophy of education and entertains, though there are occasional desolate moments (like when he compares American educators to Satanists performing a Black Mass). Of course, in many ways it's the bleak parts that are the most fun to read.

If you need ammunition against the U.S. public school system, you'll find plenty in these pages. And we're not just talking bullets—in essays such as "The Teenage Suicide Holocaust" and "Eugenics and the Christian Ethic," Blumenfeld pulls out the heavy artillery and blasts away. A good writer and an even better researcher, he makes compelling points as he demonstrates the actual evil behind America's schools and society. He shows that humanism as it is currently espoused is indeed a religion, that kids are being dumbed down on purpose, that atheistic socialists founded the government schools as we know them.

As a polemicist he's not always careful. For instance, instead of simply positing Christianity against secular socialism, he shows his dyed-in-the-wool capitalist colors, as if that were inherently a more ethical economic model. He also conflates socialist economics and socialist ethics, which don't always go hand-in-hand. Which are odd mistakes for him to make, because for the most part he makes a point of presenting the Christian perspective on the issues he's dealing with.

Because essays are largely opinion-oriented, these (relatively minor) flaws are easy to overlook. So much of what Blumenfeld says is right-on that to dispense those parts for a few short passages is unfair and irrational. And we want to be rational. It's ironic that, as self-professed rationalists, the humanists in charge of all things educational are often highly erratic and irrational in their behavior and theories. Blumenfeld is adept at pointing out every such instance, while tempering the doom-and-gloom with happier essays about God's role as educator and the bright futures of Christian and home schools.

Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he's a husband and father who loves church, good food, and weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here.
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Exodus Rating:
FLAWS: Presents conservatism and capitalism as the only Christian alternatives
Summary: Collection of polemic essays warning against the dangers of US public education, and how Christians can respond.

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