CC OPINION: The War Against Grammar combines passion, intelligence, and entertainment in its defense of teaching grammar. Charles Schuster believes that in modern education, grammar is becoming a lost art. He relays the complex and fascinating history of grammar, while connecting its practice to real success in today’s world. Teaching grammar is not a waste of time, but a valuable tool for writing, reading speaking, and learning other languages.

 Provocative, thoughtful, informative, combative-a book that challenges us to come to terms once more with the teaching of English grammar.

How can we improve the verbal skills of students? How can we strengthen them as readers and writers? How can we best prepare youth to succeed in the study of a foreign language? According to Classics professor David Mulroy, the most important answer is grammar! Whether championing the grammatical analysis of phrases and clauses or arguing for the vital importance of sentence diagramming, Mulroy offers a lucid, learned, passionate account of the history, importance, and value of grammar.

Both erudite and entertaining, The War Against Grammar disagrees with the establishment view that the teaching of traditional grammar is a waste of classroom time. According to Mulroy, both history and commonsense make clear that students benefit from diagramming and learning their parts of speech-both during their school years and beyond. Drawing upon his classical training, Mulroy offers a close reading of the history of language study and of linguistic research to support his view that English teaching must revitalize grammar education-and that it will produce a generation better able to read and write complex texts.

Smartly conceived and soundly executed, The War Against Grammar should initiate renewed debate on this critically important subject within the discipline of English Studies.

 Recommended in Program(s): All Programs
Cycle(s): n/a




Heinemann Educational Books

Publication date:

21 August 2003

Number of pages:



215 g


231.6 x 151.4 x 8.1 mm






A Stanford Ph.D., Professor David Mulroy has taught Classics at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee since 1973. He has published both scholarly and general-interest essays and three books of translations of ancient Greek and Roman poetry. His latest work is a translation of the poems of Catullus.

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