Dr. Thomas J. Cottle


When The Music Stopped

“No one writes about the everyday dreams, agonies, and situational realities of the young and oppressed with the perception and power of Thomas J.Cottle.”

—Philip Slater

“Thomas J. Cottle may be America’s most faithful and imaginative observer of the radically changing values and circumstances of young people in our time.”

—The New Republic

A sociologist and licensed clinical psychologist, Thomas J. Cottle is Professor of Education at Boston University. He received his BA degree from Harvard University, his MA and Ph.D. degrees from The University of Chicago, and an LHD degree from Lesley University, Cambridge, MA. He did post-doctorate clinical training at The Children’s Hospital, Boston and Tavistock Clinic and Anna Freud Clinic in London, and has held faculty positions at Harvard University, MIT., Boston College, Amherst College, Wesleyan University, Columbia College in Chicago, and a research position with The Children’s Defense Fund. In addition, he has been a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study, University of Illinois.

Among his honors are:
A Young Psychologist Award from the American Psychological Association; Guggenheim Fellowship; Fellowship from the Field Foundation; Pioneer Fellowship; Educational Press Association Writers Award; National Television Broadcast Executives Award; Psychological Association Award; Gabriel Award; Parents Choice Magazine Award; DeRose/Hinkhouse Award of Merit from the Associated Church Press; Career Achievement Award from the Massachusetts Psychological Association. Professor Cottle is the author of thirty books and more than five hundred and fifty articles, essays and reviews.

His book titles include:
Private Lives and Public Accounts; A Family Album; Busing; Children in Jail; Children’s Secrets; Hidden Survivors; The Voices of School; Time’s Children; Like Fathers, Like Sons; Barred from School; Perceiving Time; The Abandoners; Black Children, White Dreams; and Black Testimony.

Recently published are A Sense of Self: The Work of Affirmation; Hardest Times: The Trauma of Long Term Unemployment; At Peril: Stories of Injustice; Mind Fields: Adolescent Consciousness in a Culture of Distraction; Intimate Appraisals: The Social Writings of Thomas J. Cottle; and the forthcoming When the Music Stopped: Discovering My Mother.

His essays have appeared in professional sociology, education, psychology, literary, and religious journals, as well as major newspapers and periodicals such as The New York Times, The London Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, Newsday, The Los Angeles Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The St. Louis Post Dispatch, The Baltimore Sun, The Atlantic, Harpers, The New Republic, The New Leader, Saturday Review, Life, Working Mother, Commonweal, Parents Magazine, Liberal Education, The Yale Review, Daedalus, Antioch Review, Massachusetts Review, Psychology Today, The North American Review, and Education Week.

Professor Cottle is married to Kay Mikkelsen Cottle, a high school history teacher. They are the parents of three children and the grandparents of four children.


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