Kohl, Judith


Married Herbert Kohl (an educator), 1963; children: Antonia, Erica, Joshua.


Home—40561 Eureka Hill Rd., Point Arena, CA 95468. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Teacher’s College Press, 1234 Amsterdam Ave., New York, NY 10027.


Educator and author.


National Book Award for Children’s Literature, 1978, for The View from the Oak: The Private World of Other Creatures; Robert F. Kennedy Book Award (with others), 1990-91, for The Long Haul: An Autobiography.


(With husband, Herbert Kohl) The View from the Oak: The Private World of Other Creatures, illustrated by Roger Bayless, Sierra Club Books (Boston, MA), 1977.

(With Herbert Kohl) Pack, Band, and Colony: The World of Social Animals, illustrated by Margaret La Farge, Farrar, Straus & Giroux (New York, NY), 1983.

(With Myles Horton and Herbert Kohl) The Long Haul: An Autobiography, Doubleday (New York, NY), 1990.


Judith Kohl, along with husband Herbert Kohl, writes educational and thought-provoking works for both children and adults. The couple’s first book, The View from the Oak: The Private World of Other Creatures, introduces readers to the world of animals by discussing how they see, feel, navigate, and think. The prize-winning book fathoms what a flower looks like to a bee, why a snake tracks incremental temperature changes, and how spiders experience space. Interactive games are included. In the Kohl’s second collaborative effort, Pack, Band, and Colony: The World of Social Animals, they deal with how three groups of social animals—wolves, lemurs, and termites—behave within their own set of social rules.

Kohl and her husband teamed with groundbreaking educator Myles Horton to write Horton’s autobiography, titled The Long Haul. The Kohls recorded Horton recounting his life story over several years leading up to his death in January of 1990. Maurice Isserman of the Nation claimed “the resulting memoir preserves the flavor of Horton’s speech and personality, though the reader has to be willing to put up with frequent repetition, digressions and Horton’s sometimes elliptical way of making his points.”

  Drew Brees: The Saint of New Orleans

The Kohls relay the story of Horton, the son of a Tennessee farmer and a teacher. Greatly influenced by the different types of education in his life, Horton attended Tennessee’s Cumberland Presbyterian College and then went on to Union Theological Seminary in New York City. In both places he became involved with socialist ideals, particularly the causes of racial equity and labor unions. Horton brought these ideas back to Tennessee and set up the Highlander Folk School in Monteagle in 1932. The school stressed labor theory, economics, and local Appalachian culture, but the main focus was on hands-on learning, the curriculum controlled by the students.

After World War II Horton struggled to keep the school open. His formerly beneficial relationship with the Congress of Industrial Organizations ended when that organization curtailed its support of the expansion of industrial unionism. Highlander also suffered as a result of its socialist leanings and its participation in the civil rights movement. Among those individuals who were involved in the school and its teachings were Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Jr., Eleanor Roosevelt, Pete Seeger, and Woody Guthrie. The school continued to survive, despite two location changes and a name change; in 2002 it operated as the Highlander Research and Education Center.



Library Journal, March 15, 1990, Annelle R. Huggins, review of The Long Haul: An Autobiography, p. 100.

Nation, November 12, 1990, Maurice Isserman, review of The Long Haul, p. 566.

New York Times, May 20, 1990, Laura Green, review of The Long Haul, p. 31.

  Drew Brees, Like Kurt Warner, Wouldn't Let His Kids Play Football

Progressive, October, 1990, John Egerton, review of The Long Haul, p. 41.

Publishers Weekly, February 2, 1990, review of The Long Haul: An Autobiography, p. 73.


New Press Web site,http://www.thenewpress.com/ (June 14, 2003).*