The Voluntary Life: 265 A Review Of Escape From Childhood By John Holt

15 October 2016

265 A Review Of Escape From Childhood By John Holt

John Holt was a leading figure in the school reform movement, who became increasingly interested in how children learn outside of school—what he called “unschooling.” He wrote many influential books about alternatives to schooling and he helped start the modern homeschooling movement.

In his book Escape From Childhood, the subject of this week's episode, he provided thought-provoking insights into many problems with how adults treat children, and a vision of how children could be treated with dignity and given greater freedom.

Show Notes:

Listen To Episode 265


  1. Hi!
    I just listened to this episode (heard about your podcast through "The Sex and a Science
    Hour") and I really enjoyed your comments and it was great to delisted to some excerpts. I too had problems with the chapter about political solutions and the "universal basic income" idea that he presented in there. To a John Holy defense I think it is one of his oldest books and his journey was very much fun be away from collectivism towards individualism. I think he was very much a socialist in the beginning and ended up a libertaria /anarchist in the end - especially since he realized that the state wasn't a guarantee of children's rights and that parent often were much more likeley to fend for their children than anyone else in any system. He also gave up
    On the idea of free schools and school reform in the end, because he constantly saw it as adults controlling kids towards their own ends - the only place he really saw children being given freedom and respect were in the families of unschoolers.


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