A Polit­i­cal Edu­ca­tion: Com­ing of Age in Paris and New York

André Schiffrin
  • Review
By – March 23, 2012
After describ­ing how his fam­i­ly fled Nazi-occu­pied France for New York with the aid of the French author and Nobel Prize win­ner André Gide, pub­lish­er André Schiffrin — an avowed Social­ist from his ear­ly teens who lat­er attend­ed Yale and Cam­bridge — advo­cates for the fair­ness of Social­ism and describes his work on behalf of the Social­ist cause. The author seam­less­ly weaves his own life sto­ry into an overview of the polit­i­cal cli­mate in the Unit­ed States and Europe from World War II to the present, and demon­strates the chill­ing effect that the McCarthy era had on free­dom of expres­sion in the U.S. Schiffrin pro­vides a clear expla­na­tion of what hap­pened to fam­i­ly-owned pub­lish­ing hous­es that were tak­en over by large cor­po­ra­tions, whose own­ers viewed ever larg­er prof­its as their pri­ma­ry goal. An elo­quent advo­cate for a tru­ly inde­pen­dent press, he lays out a com­pelling argu­ment that FCC dereg­u­la­tion of cross-media own­er­ship” under the Bush Admin­is­tra­tion led to an almost total silence by jour­nal­ists on weapons of mass destruc­tion and the need for the war in Iraq. Schiffrin, a pro­fessed athe­ist, briefly dis­cuss­es anti- Semi­tism in var­i­ous con­texts, includ­ing the mur­der of French Jews dur­ing the Holo­caust. Index, b/​w photos.
Shi­ra R. Lon­don is the librar­i­an at Beth Tfiloh Dahan Com­mu­ni­ty High School in Bal­ti­more, MD. She holds an M.L.S. from Colum­bia University.

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