Subj: congratulations on your brilliant book

Date: 11/1/2008 5:22:06 PM Eastern Standard Time

From: Christina Martinez



Dear Jeff,


I want to thank you so much for writing Disciplined Minds -- I’ve just finished it this evening and found it a really brave, insightful and intelligent book.  We first came across a quote from it in the book Guardians of Power by the creators of the Media Lens website here in the UK, and it sounded intriguing.  It has not disappointed.


I had felt very uneasy about many aspects of “the system” without ever quite fathoming out the reasons:  You have spelt out exactly why.  Your thesis makes sense on so many levels.


Alex, my husband, wrote a PhD in 1983 at London University which his examiners would not pass, despite it being described as “of a very high standard,” because he maintained in his introduction that writers/playwrights/artists are better qualified to review and criticise literature/plays/art than academics and others.  He was told he would achieve his doctorate if he changed his introduction, but refused on principle.  Academia then closed ranks on him despite his first class Honours degree.  He immediately felt driven to write his first novel -- Kitchener Blue -- which was published in 1996 -- and he is having his first play staged in London in April next year.


My own experience of challenging the status quo took place in my middle-class English family where I committed the cardinal sin of challenging the prevalent “normal” (conservative) values when I asked for more honest relationships, and caring based on actions not words.  Ideological brainwashing and unquestioned obedience sadly also take place in families like my birth family -- not just in society at large!


My own son and daughter are both actively challenging the system too -- Raoul as a fine portrait artist and writer ( and Francesca as award-winning disabled stand-up comic (  They write political comedy together with Alex.


Well, thank you once again, both for your own personal example and for your wonderful writing and research.


Warm good wishes,