This item appeared in the "Editor's
in The Textbook Letter, May-June 1996.
Some of the evils that the Prentice Hall writers concealed are cogently described in Jonathan Silvers's report "Child Labor in Pakistan" in the February issue of The Atlantic Monthly. It is strong stuff -- an account of how millions of Pakistani children, many of them only six or seven years old, are used as slaves in brick factories, carpet mills, steel mills and other industrial operations. Silvers goes beyond the simple cataloguing of horrors, however, for he views child labor in a broad social context that includes Pakistan's ruinously high birth rate and an education system that can accommodate only one-third of Pakistan's school-aged children. His report will be valuable to teachers who give courses in geography or in cultural studies.
William J. Bennetta is a professional editor, a fellow of the California Academy of Sciences, the president of The Textbook League, and the editor of The Textbook Letter. He writes often about the propagation of quackery, false "science" and false "history" in schoolbooks.
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