"The biggest problem with American education is that we don't have nearly enough Mr. Barlow's"  -  Steve Kroft, 60 Minutes

Teacher of the Year

For 35 years, Edwin Barlow taught mathematics at his beloved Horace Greeley High School in Upstate New York. For 35 years, thousands of students passed through his classroom. Yet when he died, he remained as much a cipher as the day he arrived, for he deliberately shrouded his life in rumor and mystery.

Teacher of the Year: The Mystery and Legacy of Edwin Barlow tells the story of a former student’s investigation into the life of his famous, inscrutable teacher, his only clues being a litany of myths spanning four decades.

Mister Barlow’s classroom persona -- demanding, humorous, profound, frightening – had already built him into a legend. What remained to be discovered was the past he so carefully guarded, and the method behind his controversial teaching style.

Here, for the first time, Mister Barlow’s entire past is revealed. Every question is answered, every rumor dispelled, and every myth debunked. What remains is a remarkably human tale, of a man whose dreams were shattered, and how he rebuilt his life to become a unique force in American educational history.

From the Depression to World War II and beyond, from the altar of a Massachusetts church to a tiny classroom in New York, from a tightly knit family of six to the despair of self-imposed exile, Edwin Barlow's story is a journey of self-realization and redemption.

Buy Paperback



"What are you looking at, you Blockhead?"