Handsworth Revolution has been widely acclaimed as an important book.
It charts the progress of an inner-city primary school over twenty three years, describing and analysing its evolution in the context of a local community at a time of rapid change.
It is addictively readable, with a strong narrative drive which takes us on a personal, historical and philosophical journey that is enlivened by a vivid sense of the texture of real school life.
It is much more than entertaining. It pauses from time to time to engage in profound and penetrating analysis of issues such as school leadership, the role of teaching and learning, the shifting political influences on education, the problems of social disadvantage, the experience of ethnic minority communities.
It also celebrates the powerful impact of teachers and schools on children's lives, and has been enthusiastically received by young teachers and students in training, as well as by headteachers looking for reassurance and support on the question of the value of primary education. It is already being extensively used on teacher-education and leadership and management courses, both within and outside the world of education, sometimes as a set text.
It will be of great interest in addition to sociologists, political analysts and local historians.
This is a book not to miss. Its exceptionally positive reception from commentators in various fields suggests that it will come to be regarded as a classic of its kind, one of the few portraits of the actual life of teaching that has both become an important text for the academy and at the same time attracted a substantial general readership.