Who said: "It is among the commonplaces of education that we often first cut off the living root and then try to replace its natural functions by artificial means."

BookBrowse's Favorite Quotes

"It is among the commonplaces of education that we often first cut off the living root and then try to replace its natural functions by artificial means. Thus we suppress the child's curiosity and then when he lacks a natural interest in learning he is offered special coaching for his scholastic difficulties." - Alice Duer Miller

Alice Duer Miller (1874 -1942) was born and raised in the wealthy and influential Duer family of New York. Shortly after her formal debut into society, her family's wealth was lost in a bank crisis. Beginning in 1895 she studied mathematics and astronomy at Barnard College, earning her way through publishing short stories, essays and poems in national magazines.

She graduated in 1899, marrying Henry Wise Miller the same year. She taught for a few years until Henry's income could support them both, at which time she devoted herself to writing. Her specialty was "light fiction"; her best remembered novel being The White Cliffs (1940) about a marriage of an American woman to a British soldier. From the 1920s a number of her stories were made into successful movies, and she worked in Hollywood as a writer.

She was very active in the women's suffrage movement, writing a column for the New York Tribune titled "Are Women People?" Her columns were published in two volumes; Are Women People: A Book of Rhymes for Suffrage Times (1915) and Women are People! (1917).

Henry Wise Miller published a biography of his wife, All Our Lives, in 1945. The book is currently in print and excerpts can be read at Questia.com. Are Women People is also currently in print, as are a couple of Miller's other books; the remainder can be found second hand through resources such as AddAll.com.

Recommended: Alice Duer Miller's quote was addressed to an earlier generation, but many are still beating the same drum of creativity in education today. If you have any interest in education we strongly recommend you take the time to watch Ken Robinson's inspiring and entertaining 20 minute speech on the subject at the 2006 TED conference.

More Quotes

This quote & biography originally ran in an issue of BookBrowse's membership magazine. Full Membership Features & Benefits.

Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Gemini
    Gemini
    by Carol Cassella
    How good is Gemini, Carol Cassella's book about a Seattle intensive care physician who becomes ...
  • Book Jacket: The Goldfinch
    The Goldfinch
    by Donna Tartt
    Winner of the 2014 Pulitzer for Fiction.

    Her canvas is vast. To frame a story about art, love and ...
  • Book Jacket: Toms River
    Toms River
    by Dan Fagin
    Winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Nonfiction

    In Toms River, investigative journalist Dan Fagin ...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your
horizons.

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry
by Gabrielle Zevin

Published Apr. 2014

Join the discussion!

Who Said...

The low brow and the high brow

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

Solve this clue:

P Your O C

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.