The "shocking" and "suspense-packed" bestseller about one teacher's stand against student violence, and the basis for the Academy Award-nominated film (The New York Times Book Review).
After serving his country in World War II, Richard Dadier decides to become an English teacher--and for the sin of wanting to make a difference, he's hired at North Manual Trades High School. A tough vocational school in the East Bronx, Manual Trades is home to angry, unruly teenagers exiled from New York City's regular public schools. On his first day, Dadier endures relentless mockery and ridicule and makes an enemy of the student body by rescuing a female colleague from a vicious attack.
His fellow educators are bitter, disillusioned, and too afraid of their pupils to risk turning their backs on them in the classroom. But Dadier refuses to give up without a fight. Over the course of the semester, he tries again and again to break through the wall of hatred and scorn and win his students' respect. The more he learns about their difficult circumstances, the more convinced he becomes that a good teacher can make a difference in their lives. His idealism will be put to the ultimate test, however, when a long-simmering power struggle with his most intimidating student explodes into a violent schoolroom showdown.
The basis for the blockbuster film starring Glenn Ford and Sidney Poitier, Evan Hunter's The Blackboard Jungle is a brutal, unflinching look at the dark side of American education and an early masterpiece from the author who went on to write the gritty 87th Precinct series as Ed McBain. Drawn from Hunter's own experiences as a New York City schoolteacher, it is a "nightmarish but authentic" drama that packs a knockout punch (Time).
About the Author
Evan Hunter (1926-2005) was one of the best-loved mystery novelists of the twentieth century. Born Salvatore Lambino in New York City, he served in the US Navy during World War II and briefly worked as a teacher after graduating from Hunter College. The experience provided the inspiration for his debut novel, The Blackboard Jungle (1954), which was published under his new legal name and adapted into an Academy Award-nominated film starring Glenn Ford and Sidney Poitier. Cop Hater (1956), the first entry in the 87th Precinct series, was written under the pen name Ed McBain. The long-running series, which followed an ensemble cast of police officers in the fictional city of Isola, is widely credited with inventing the police procedural genre. As a screenwriter, Hunter adapted a Daphne du Maurier short story into the screenplay for Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds and turned his own bestselling novel, Strangers When We Meet (1958), into the script for a film starring Kirk Douglas and Kim Novak. His other novels include the New York Times bestseller Mothers and Daughters (1961), Buddwing (1964), Last Summer (1968), and Come Winter (1973). Among his many honors, Hunter was named a Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America and was the first American to receive the Cartier Diamond Dagger award from the Crime Writers Association of Great Britain.