Amos Kamil, Great is the Truth!

Amos Kamil
Great is the Truth!

Secrecy, Scandal, and the Quest for Justice at the Horace Mann School
Thursday, November 12, 7-8pm

“Kamil’s deep roots in the Horace Mann community allowed him to draw on numerous interviews with alumni and teachers. Essential for academic and public libraries.”
Seth Kershner, Library Journal
Magna estveritas et prævalet
When reports of sexual abuse begin to spring up around a respected institution, people oftenrationalize their discomfort by saying these were just afew bad apples, isolated incidents that don’t reflect the values of the institution as a whole. This was the reaction when Amos Kamil’s story “Prep School Predators” ran in The New York Times Magazine in 2012. Except it wasn’t isolated, by any stretch of the imagination. Kamil initially wrote about a handful of abusers at the school, but now we know the truth was much worse:
For more than three decades, at least twenty-two Horace Mann teachers abused more than sixty-four students.
Something was rotten in the Horace Mann system, something that allowed these abuses to go on and on with little meaningful action taken to stop them. Students who were meant to become the nation’s brightest politicians, CEOs, thinkers, and philanthropists were victimized in ways that haunted, and in some cases severely stunted, them for the rest of their lives.
In Great Is the Truth,Kamil shows what happened in the aftermath of his original article. Horace Mann was given an opportunity to do right,not only by its students but by its very creed, to let the truth prevail. Instead, they stonewalled the survivors and offered pittances as restitution. Meanwhile, more and more survivors came forward, telling more and more harrowing stories.
What happened at Horace Mann has changed the American educational landscape, and it still has the power to alter the laws that allow predators and those who shelter them so much leeway. Great Is the Truth is an emotional, sometimes shattering, look at the consequences of betrayed trust. But it is also filled with hope —hope that with determination and the support of good people, the truth might have its day in the light.
Praise for Great Is the Truth
“Amos Kamil made headlines when he broke three decades of silence surrounding the sexual abuse of students at one of the nation’s top prep schools. Now, with a rigorous passion for the truth, he and Sean Elder explore why the school he loved has refused to look into its shocking past. This book, brimming with empathy for schoolmates who were betrayed by the teachers they trusted, is a righteous demonstration that the truth is great—if only we have the courage to tell it.”
—Marc Fisher, senior editor at The Washington Post
“Yes, Amos Kamil and Sean Elder’s Great Is the Truth is shocking, riveting, and appalling, but it is also much more: a cautionary tale of how an elite, privileged institution can lose its way, not realize it, and, even after the corruption is revealed, still be incapable of doing the right thing. A must-read!”
—William D. Cohan, author of The Price of Silence: The Duke Lacrosse Scandal, the Power of the Elite, and the Corruption of Our Great Universities
Great Is the Truth is a terrific, probing tale of an important subject. In the best journalistic tradition, Amos Kamil and Sean Elder have combined a penetrating investigation with a moving and intimate narrative. They have revealed the previously hidden culture of sexual predation at one of our leading private schools, and, more frightening still, the culture of complicity of what seems at times the school’s entire professional community. This is a powerful, harrowing book. Everyone should pay attention.”
—Steve Fishman, writer atNew York magazine
“Part memoir, part investigative reporting, Great Is the Truth is a richly layered and ultimately balanced account of the decades-long trend of sexual abuse at Horace Mann.Kamil’s deeply personal perspective and his and Elder’s dogged research enhance each other, conflicting emotion and comprehensive information blending to create a compelling narrative.” —Sarah Saffian, author of Ithaka: A Daughter’s Memoir of Being Found
“Predators.Pedophiles.Rapists. No sum of money, no apology, can right the wrongs that were committed against the students of Horace Mann. But Great Is the Truth is the next best thing: a clear-eyed account of the institutional corruption that made the abuse possible.”
—James S. Hirsch, author of Willie Mays: The Life, the Legend and Hurricane: The Miraculous Journey of Rubin Carter
AMOS KAMILis a playwright, screenwriter, and investigative reporter. His 2012 cover story in The New York Times Magazine brought the Horace Mann scandal to light.
Event date: 
Thursday, November 12, 2015 - 7:00pm to 8:00pm
Event address: 
54 Fairfield St.
Watchung Plaza
Montclair, NJ 07042
Great Is the Truth: Secrecy, Scandal, and the Quest for Justice at the Horace Mann School Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780374166625
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - November 3rd, 2015