This item appeared in The Textbook Letter for July-August 1999,
accompanying a review of Glencoe's schoolbook Responsible Driving.

Meet Deaf Kitty

Robert A. Pease

In a review written for the May-June issue of The Textbook Letter, Tom VanCourt described Glencoe's textbook Glencoe Pre-Algebra and its "parade of irrelevancies, discontinuities and non sequiturs." Glencoe Pre-Algebra, VanCourt wrote, is loaded with "ethnokitsch" items which reflect the fad for warbling about "cultures," and it glows with "racial awareness and political correctness, as manifested in frequent, self-conscious, irrelevant references to blacks, women and other members of Victim groups."

I recalled VanCourt's account when I looked at Responsible Driving. I must suspect that Responsible Driving was put together by the same people who produced Glencoe Pre-Algebra, because Responsible Driving has its own load of irrelevant ethnokitsch items and racial gimmicks, including eighteen that appear under the label "Cultural Crossroads." As examples:

Robert A. Pease is a senior engineer with National Semiconductor Corporation (in Santa Clara, California). He writes a regular column -- "Pease Porridge" -- for the magazine Electronic Design, and he has published two books: Troubleshooting Analog Circuits (1991) and How to Drive into Accidents -- and How Not To (1998). He undertook the latter book after one of his relatives was killed in a traffic accident.


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