Monday, July 26, 2010

Theodore Sizer


Introduction to Volume One, Number One
The Concord Review, Fall 1988

Theodore Sizer: late Professor of Education, Brown University Author, Horace’s Compromise, Horace’s School; Chairman, Coalition of Essential Schools; Former Dean, Harvard School of Education; Former Headmaster, Phillips Academy at Andover.

Americans shamefully underestimate their adolescents. With often misdirected generosity, we offer them all sorts of opportunities and, at least for middle-class and affluent youths, the time and resources to take advantage of them.

We ask little in return. We expect little, and the young people sense this, and relax. The genially superficial is tolerated, save in areas where the high school students themselves have some control, in inter-scholastic athletics, sometimes in their part-time work, almost always in their socializing.

At least if and when they reflect about it, adolescents have cause to resent us old folks. We do not signal clear standards for many important areas of their lives, and we deny them the respect of high expectations. In a word, we are careless about them, and, not surprisingly, many are thus careless about themselves. "Me take on such a difficult and responsible task?" they query, "I'm just a kid!"

All sorts of young Americans are capable of solid, imaginative scholarship, and they exhibit it for us when we give them both the opportunity and a clear measure of the standard expected. Presented with this opportunity, young folk respond. The Concord Review is such an opportunity, a place for fine scholarship to be exhibited, to be exposed to that most exquisite of scholarly tests, wide publication.

The prospect of “exhibition” is provocative. I must show publicly that I know, that I have ideas, and that I can defend them resourcefully. My competence is not merely an affair between me and a soulless grading machine in Princeton, New Jersey. It is a very public act.

The Concord Review is, for the History-inclined high school student, what the best of secondary school theatre and music performances, athletics, and (in some respects) science fairs are, for their aficionados. It is a testing ground, and one of elegant style, taste and standards. The Review does not undersell students. It respects them. And in such respect is the fuel for excellence.

Sunday, July 18, 2010


17 July 2010

Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Global Province Smith

113. Best Kids' Expository Writing

The Concord Review is shockingly good, and we are annoyed that we did not see it sooner. It is "A Quarterly Review of Essays by Students of History," a selection of papers from high school students all over the country [and 38 other countries] who, in general, write and research better than their college cousins. You can find a short history of IBM, a piece on Williston Academy and World War I, two treatments of Marbury vs. Madison, a memory of Julia Morgan (the architect of Hearst Castle and friend of the great California architect Bernard Maybeck), and just about everything else you can imagine. This is the child and worthy compulsion of Will Fitzhugh of Sudbury, Massachusetts. A one-time teacher who has spent 23 years building the Journal, he has earned the praise of everyone, even though, financially, his enterprise has been a hand-to-mouth affair. So subscribe and get your friends to endow it. On the Internet, you will find some sample essays at Send praise and dollars to Mr. Fitzhugh at

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Summer 2010 Issue (#82); Houston, Texas
Commentary: And now for some reading!
13/07/2010 19:25:00 Michael F. Shaughnessy, Senior Columnist

7.14.10—Well, the World Cup is over and Spain has triumphed over the Netherlands and now perhaps we can turn our sights to some other WORLD CLASS scholars—those who have been published in The Concord Review.

Michael F. Shaughnessy
Eastern New Mexico University
Portales, New Mexico

Well, the World Cup is over and Spain has triumphed over the Netherlands and now perhaps we can turn our sights to some other WORLD CLASS scholars—those who have been published in The Concord Review.

You know, we extol Lebron James (although I will challenge him to a game of one on one at Greyhound Arena in Portales, New Mexico) and we make a big deal of football (and soccer players) and we seem to idolize baseball players and tennis players and volleyball stars, but I do not think we pay enough attention to true scholars who are at the head of their class. So, today, let me pay homage and tribute to those high school writers and scholars whose research and writings have appeared in the Summer 2010 issue of The Concord Review (#82).

Benjamin Weichman wrote an essay about Norman Borlaug (the exact title of his essay was “ Seeds of Innovation : Norman Borlaug and the Green Revolution”). Benjamin will be a Senior at Bedford High School, Bedford Massachusetts.

Abhishek Raman Parajuli wrote on the topic of the Rwandan Genocide. He is from Kathmandu, Nepal, and this essay was written while he was a student at Li Po Chun United World College, in Hong Kong. He is taking a gap year before college.

Neal Feldman penned an essay on the Balkan Wars, 1912-1913, and he is from George Washington High School in Denver, Colorado. He is going to be in the Honors Program at the University of Denver.

Jane Oliver Cavalier described Pittsburg’s East Liberty. She is from Ellis School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She will be at Dartmouth in the Fall.

Emma Silverman wrote on the topic of the Muslim Brotherhood. She will be a Senior at Oak Park and River Forest High School in Oak Park, Illinois.

Anirudha Balasubramanian penned a piece on American Economics. This paper was written while at St. Albans School, Mount St. Alban, Washington, D.C. He is headed for Harvard.

Ruodi Duan wrote on the Confederate Divide. Ruodi attended Arcadia High School in Arcadia, California. She will be at Amherst in the Fall.

Sydney Small researched and wrote on the topic of the African Colonies of Belgium and Germany. Sydney attended the University of Chicago Laboratory High School in Chicago, Illinois. She will be at Columbia in the Fall.

Antonia Woodford wrote on the topic of Italian Fascism. Antonia attended The Horace Mann School in Riverside, New York. She is headed for Yale.

Scotland William Long contributed an essay on The Long Telegram and he attended Irvington High School in Irvington, New York (Sleepy Hollow Country, as I recall). He will be at Bates College.

EuNa Noh wrote about one of our greatest American Presidents, Andrew Jackson, and it comes as no surprise to me that EuNa will be a Senior at Phillips Exeter Academy, Exeter, New Hampshire. She came to the U.S. from South Korea just three years ago.

All of these individuals deserve congratulations and all of the teachers of these individuals have probably contributed to some extent and deserve recognition and all of the parents of these fine writers and scholars deserve some acknowledgement.

I do apologize for any misspellings and accept responsibility for these large clumsy fingers. In addition to these fine papers, Kristy Henrich of Marblehead High School Class of 2010 contributed a brief piece to the back cover of this edition of The Concord Review.

If you want to learn more about these outstanding writers, researchers and scholars, there is a section entitled “Notes on Contributors“ at the end of each issue. I have a feeling these high school students are well on their way to success in whatever college or university is lucky enough to recruit them.

The Concord Review belongs in every high school library in America. For more information go to

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

This website ( has now had foreign visitors from: Algeria, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Bhutan, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, China (Beijing, Shanghai, Tiajin, Youngzhou, etc.), Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Dubai, Ecuador, Egypt, France, Germany, Ghana, Grenada, Guam, Haiti, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Macao, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Romania, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Serbia & Montenegro, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Trinidad, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom (England), United Kingdom (Scotland), Uruguay, and Vietnam.

Perhaps this is because The Concord Review is the only journal in the world that publishes the academic papers of secondary students of history...

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Will Fitzhugh's Review has been featured in The Boston Globe (12/17/2009). It's been praised by Albert Shanker and David McCullough. Shanker himself published two New York Times articles about The Concord Review. I've read through several of the papers that have been published. The Concord Review is just the sort of scholarly excellence that should be promoted in American high schools. Students in history classes throughout the country should be submitting papers for publication to The Concord Review.

[Diana E. Sheets is a Research Scholar in the Departments of English and History at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She has a Ph.D. in Modern European History from Columbia University with honors in her minor field, Literature and Politics.]

Monday, July 5, 2010


William Fitzhugh
Editor and Publisher
The Concord Review

Dear Mr. Fitzhugh,

I am writing to thank you for publishing my International Baccalaureate essay (“An Assessment of the Handling of Operation Jubilee”) in this summer’s issue of The Concord Review. I was very excited when I first heard that this essay was being considered for publication, and I can happily say that all my expectations have been met and surpassed. I am very pleased with the final result, and am very proud to be in the company of the other fine authors (and historians!) published by the Review.

Although I am now studying mathematics at the University of Alberta, I am still grateful for my experiences with The Concord Review, and with the study of history in general. The opportunity you offer young historians is essential because it provides a goal for them to strive for; moreover, achieving this goal gives them greater confidence in their ability to contribute something to our understanding of the past (and perhaps of our future). Further, I think it is important that people such as yourself continue to support the study of history, which is sometimes looked down upon as not being very “useful.” I firmly believe that an understanding of the past, by providing a framework into which knowledge may be placed, enhances the study of any subject—no matter how far removed it may seem to be from history.

Finally, I would be remiss if I did not thank you, on behalf of all students who have been called upon to attempt the seemingly insurmountable task of writing an in-depth history paper, for providing us with plentiful examples of good writing and good history. Your publication has helped us to see a way through the jungle.

Again, many thanks. I wish you all the best!

Jesse Esch
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Friday, July 2, 2010

Harvard Magazine

July-August 2010, p. 76C

Class Notes

50th Reunion

An article by Jay Mathews on Will Fitzhugh, Ed.M. ’68, and his campaign to have schools include more nonfiction in their reading lists for students, appeared in the February 22 issue of The Washington Post. Fitzhugh’s article “Meaningful Academic Work” (, Madison, Wisconsin), in which he argues that “reading good history books and writing serious history research papers provide the sort of work which students do find meaningful,” was republished in The Doyle Report ( as a guest column.