Mr. Finn discusses what some minorities feel about acting, while as a betrayal of the people. They think they have been wronged by mainstream Americans. This he maintains in the opening of his preface.
While writing his book, he considered several titles and after reading Kozol and Paulo Friere, who was a professor at the University of Recife in Brazil, who taught his students literacy to engage in the struggle for justice, a dangerous undertaking.http://ctb.ku.edu/en/table-of-contents/implement/improving-services/plan-adult-literacy-program/main
Mr. Finn talks about his upbringing as the eighth of nine children whose fate changed because of a birth injury that left part of his left arm slightly paralyzed. His father and brothers were plumbers but he pursued education which he was pretty good at; After graduation at the local teachers' college, he started teaching in a school in a black neighborhood in Chicago's south side.
Since he himself was from the working class, he knew how working class and poor kids related to authority. He taught well and got praise from his principal. However, Mr. Finn praised on teacher, Ms. Kennedy who he thought was a better teacher. He describes her as a very beautiful black lady who had just graduated from Fisk University.
Mr. Finn married a very conservative teacher who taught in a suburban school while he pursued his education to the doctorate level. He later taught English at the graduate school.
In Mr. Finn's second chapter he saw, as Jean Anyon's study of fifth grade class of the white, elite, affluent, professional, middle class where almost all the students were white and then the lower class. These schools had similarities. There were many teaching skill discussions among the teachers. Some were good, others were bad. The chapter discusses the nature of teaching in these class cultures.