"Writing-once a lively, vital American resource-is rapidly becoming an endangered skill, a lost art. In this important, original, and impassioned book, Thomas C. Wheeler, a teacher of writing snd literature at the City University of New York, blames the current literacy crisis in part on the insidious influence of television. Even more responsible, he declares is our educational system's emphasis on standardized objective testing. Using examples ranging from Emily Dickinson to Ernest Heimingway, Wheeler shows how vigorously young people respond to American writing at its best. He quotes from the work of his students to dramatize the way writing helps them develop a sense of identity. Wheeler's eloquent plea for renewed emphasis on the written word results in 'an important book, provocative, potentially controversial' (Cleveland Plain Dealer)"