About Me

I am a 47-year-old husband, father and writer who’s living in Santiago, Chile for five months.

I love reading, writing and talking about books.  I generally connect the posts to current events, and the broader criterion is that which I am interested in learning more about that day.

In 2000 my father-in-law Martin Kelly turned me onto speed reading, and it has made a big difference in the volume and comprehension with which I read, especially with non-fiction works. I recommend it to anyone who is interested.

Like most bloggers, I love comments and exchanges. Thus far I’ve been able to respond to every comment someone makes on the site.

Thanks for reading and joining the community!


65 responses to “About Me

  1. Jeff Kelly Lowenstein: Cool Blog!! I am so jealous you are putting away so many books. Paper versions too!! I have been feeling so grown up that I am getting through a couple audio books a month. I put them on my telephone and click them on anytime other verbal communiques are not coming my way. I am going to keep track of your Cliff notes versions here though.

    I read about how Martin Luther King Jr. spent lots of late nights listening to guys in the Blackstone Rangers as he was working on getting them to march with him. I want to write a song about it to use in motivational trainings in high schools. I taught high school in Lawndale for nine years. I suspect that you could steer me towards some of the guys MLK talked with, given one of the books you wrote. Thanks for any help.

    • jeffkellylowenstein3

      Thanks, Dan, for your kind words. I just took a look at the Institute for Basic Change site; you and your team are doing very exciting work!

      I don’t know if you know about Facing History and Ourselves, but you might want to check it out, given your teaching, non-profit and holistic approach to education, community and emotional healing. My wife is the associate program director for the Chicago office and I would be happy to put the two of you in touch.

      • Hi Jeff,
        Becca Lynch here.. Great Blog.. I’d like to learn more about speed reading… Can you send me Dunreith’s email? She was going to give some links and contacts and I’m curious to follow up. Thank you!
        Hope you guys are well.

      • jeffkellylowenstein3

        Thanks, Becca, and so sorry to take so long to get back to you.

        Hope you are doing well.

        Love to your crew from ours.


  2. I would like that. I checked out their site. I just finished an audio version of the story of the Bielski patriots (fantastic) and Facing History is doing something with that story. Sure I would be glad to talk to her.

  3. sonjanita l. moore

    Looks great! I just started a new blog today…


  4. Great start! I’ll add it to my favorites, and share it with Wrecka.

  5. paul hendrickson

    thank you for the kind words about my book; it’s clear you read it with a sensitive intelligence.

    • jeffkellylowenstein3

      Thanks very much for your comment. I have recommended it to my wife, who works for Facing History and Ourselves, a non profit educational organization that has students reflect on their choices through thinking making connections between the past and present. I also heard from a friend after writing the post that he has read Sons twice and loved it.

      Do you have a new book coming out anytime soon? If not, I’ll content myself with reading some of your other work!

      Thanks again.


  6. Fun to read. I’d tell you my top 10 books of 2008 as well, but then I’d have to read at least 6 more. Maybe it’s time I took Evelyn Wood….

  7. I love your site. Keep it up !

  8. Jeff,

    Great blog! I look forward to following it. Hope you are well!



  9. Jeff,
    Interesting Blog site. I am thinking of doing my own and would love to talk with you soon about it. I researched WordPress and may choose this site to launch my Blog. I will try and give you a call this week. Keep at it and I am following you on twitter…

    • jeffkellylowenstein3

      Thanks, Ed. It was great to ‘chat’ with you earlier today. I’m psyched to hear that you are thinking about a blog and look forward to talking with you about the pluses and minuses of WordPress. I’ll start following you on Twitter, too!

      Love from our family to yours.


  10. If you want to read and comment on my book i can let you have an e-version.

    • jeffkellylowenstein3

      Thanks for the second McNamara tip and recommendation. I’d be more than happy to read your e-book.


  11. Hi Jeff,

    I stumbled upon your blog while researching a film by the nephew of Marjorie Agosin. I’m dying with curiousity to learn how you know her, but am guessing from comments here that you met her through your wife.

    I’d like to recommend the book Zeitoun by David Eggers about one Muslim family’s experience after Katrina. It’s heart-wrenching. I’ve written about it on my Facebook page. (My blog is totally other!)

    Keep reading!

    • jeffkellylowenstein3

      Thanks, Charlotte, for your note. I look forward to checking out your blog! 🙂

      I met Marjorie through Facing History and Ourselves, an educational non profit magazine where I used to work, and where my wife currently works. My wife has become very close to Marjorie and is indeed the reason why we were invited to her lovely home in Oqunquit!

      Thanks for the recommendation of Zeitoun. Cheryl Flack, a dear friend and reader, has recommended it, too, so I’ll have to get there soon.

      Hope all is well with you. I look forward to continuing the conversation and to finding out more about the film.


  12. Hi Jeff,

    Glad to find your blog…I’m interested to see what you’ll be reading next.


  13. Namasté Jeff,

    I have read through a few of your articles/post and I love the energy and perspective that you are bringing to the online community. Keep doing what you do. I for one enjoy your writing 😉

    • jeffkellylowenstein3

      Thanks very much Nabiyah. I enjoyed your site and wish your luck with the synergy lounge. Where are you located?


  14. Hi Jeff Kelly Lowenstein,
    I’m a journalism student at Northwestern, and I have an assignment to profile a local journalist for one of my classes. I would love to profile you. Do you think you’d be available for this?

    • jeffkellylowenstein3

      Thanks, Kelsey. This sounds great! Please let me know what you need from me when you have a chance and we’ll move things forward.


  15. Great, I’m so glad you are interested! It would be great if we could chat sometime this week about your journalism career. If you e-mail me at kelseyalexis@u.northwestern.edu, maybe we could set something up?

  16. Great articles!

    • jeffkellylowenstein3

      Thanks, Emma. I hope all is well with you. I enjoyed reading the book of letters between Marjorie and you.


  17. Jeff,

    I came across your name and subsequently your blog while compiling a media list for my organization, Farther Foundation. We provide scholarships for economically disadvantaged high school students in the Chicago area to participate in educational travel programs. It was interesting to follow the various links from the things you write about through to the ideas and organizations that relate to our mission as well — cross cultural understanding, equality of educational opportunity, experiential learning. I appreciate any opportunity to make connections with people in related fields and the chance to raise awareness about our organization, its mission and programs.


    • jeffkellylowenstein3

      Thanks, David, for your note and kind words. As you can see, I’ve put your comment up as its own post. Please keep me abreast of what you and the other folks involved with the Farther Foundation are doing.

      Thanks again. I look forward to continuing the conversation.


  18. Mariann Nogrady

    Hi Jeff,
    I was just listening to NPR and heard a piece about Mothers for Peace. Robin Young mentioned South Chicago, my home neighborhood, so I decided to Google the group. Image my surprise when I found your blog, complete with picture. People are always referencing South Chicago incorrectly. Apparently the case once again on the NPR segment. Hope all is well with you!

    • jeffkellylowenstein3


      What a treat to hear from you! How are Mike, Lizzie and Nick? Are you still teaching at Brown? I remembered your talking about being from Chicago when Hoop Dreams came out, but did not know that you were from South Chicago.

      I’ll write you an email to give you more of an update, and I appreciate your taking the time to comment on the blog!


  19. Jeff ,

    I would like to know where you got the graphic that you used for the Black History Month Quiz

  20. I was doing some research about my mom for her obituary & ran across your article. I just wanted to thank you for your numerous articles about the good things my Mother did. She will truly be missed by her sons & her community.

    • jeffkellylowenstein3

      Thanks very much for your note and kind words. Your mother was a wise, gracious and caring woman who our family will miss.

      Our condolences go out to you and the rest of the Mastin and New Phoenix family.

      Jeff Kelly Lowenstein

  21. Jeff, I looked for your regular e-mail address but couldn’t find it. I edit a German Interest group’s quarterly newsletter, and I also receive This Week in Germany regularly.

    You wrote an excellent article on your family’s experience in Europe during and after WWII. (posted for the second time in January 2010, in This Week in Germany).

    Would you please give me permission to use this article in the newsletter which I edit?

    This is the first time I’ve read your blog, and I admire your writing style and relevant topics.

    • jeffkellylowenstein3

      Thanks, Kathy, for your kind words and request. It is fine with me for you to use the article in your newsletter. I would just ask you to send me a couple of copies and to include the blog’s address at the end of the piece.

      I will also email you from my regular email address.

      Good luck with the project! I look forward to learning more about your work.


  22. Hi Jeff,

    I work at the Shaw JCC in Akron, OH and saw your blog posting about Dr. Leon Bass. He will be coming here to speak in April and I need a picture of him for some publicity. Can you please contact me at tamar_sternfeld@shawjcc.org and we can discuss?


  23. Hi Jeff,

    This is Karim Khan, pen named Ernest Dempsey – writer and editor. You run an interesting blog. I write for instablogs (http://freebird.instablogs.com/) and I think you may also like to share some of your posts there.

    What kind of books do you usually pick? Feel free to visit my book review blog: http://bookreviewpot.blogspot.com/.



    • jeffkellylowenstein3

      Thanks, Karim/Ernest, for sharing your thoughts and the sites. How do you get involved with instablogs? I would like to increase my audience and it looks like an intriguing outlet.

      You certainly look busy, between your reviews, posts, books and novel.

      I find myself usually picking non-fiction, and decide to pick books either on the recommendation of others or on topics about which I want to learn more.

      Please let me know about instablogs, and thanks again for commenting. Good luck on your projects!


  24. Hi Jeff,

    I have a vivid memory of you booking a school pool car at Uthongathi School in Durban South Africa like this.

    Jeff, Jeff Jeff, Jeff, Jeff, Jeff and you would take the car for the whole week.

    Ha ha ha


    • jeffkellylowenstein3

      Hey, my man,

      Thanks for tickling the memory chords-I still remember your talking about my proactive method of bakkie booking-among many other wonderful gifts and experiences during the year at Uthongathi, including going to Johannesburg for the Four Nations Cup. It hurt me not to go and I know that you and the rest of the crew were vibing away and part of the hospitality that did the nation and the world proud. Which games did you see? How is your family?

      Please send love to them and the rest of the crew from us.


  25. hey Jeff,

    Finished and published my first book: http://lifeafterhate.org/my-life-after-hate/

    would love to know what you think.

    Hope all is well for you and your fam,

  26. Back in the very early ’70s, I was a cub reporter along with Bob McClory at the Chicago Defender. I was a young wippersnapper who thought I had all the answers. But he had something more important; he had the questions. His striving for personal integrity was a source of inspiration to me then…and it continues to be. Now, some forty years later, he still amazes me.

    • jeffkellylowenstein3

      Thanks, Lucille, for your generous words about Bob. I’ll be sure to pass them onto him, as he and Margaret live across the street from us.

      Happy New Year.


  27. I came across your name and subsequently your blog while compiling a media list for my organization, Farther Foundation. We provide scholarships for economically disadvantaged high school students in the Chicago area to participate in educational travel programs. It was interesting to follow the various links from the things you write about through to the ideas and organizations that relate to our mission as well — cross cultural understanding, equality of educational opportunity, experiential learning. I appreciate any opportunity to make connections with people in related fields and the chance to raise awareness about our organization, its mission and programs.

  28. Hey Jeff! Great look into this book and Payne’s work. Wow! How do I get a copy of So Much Reform?

  29. Hey, Jeff, great blog. I stumbled upon it because I was trying to track down Dan Middleton, whom I knew briefly in the summer of 1982. Would you please pass my email address on to him?


  30. very moving trip Jeffrey. Judith Adelman Bacher

  31. I appreciate your book “On My Teacher’s Shoulders”. It tells people of the impact teachers have on their students. When I was 11 years old I met an awesome teacher that opened my eyes to photography. He helped me see that I didn’t have to be the same black kid in the pocket. And that life offered more than living in the ghetto. I thank God everyday for him. Especially being the kid that never really had a father. Being a child that age you need great teachers like that. Someone to help give true guidance. Till this day he has been my “BEST FRIEND”. No matter what he may think. I needed a shoulder and he became mines. Thank God for your book. I needed to see that I wasn’t the only kid that has had this happen in my life. And someone else had the same experience. Thank you.
    Eva J. Hudson

    • jeffkellylowenstein3

      Thanks so much, Eva, for your kind words. What a wonderful note and beautiful tribute.

      I’ll pass them along to Jon.

      Hope all is well with you.


  32. If your still 45 that makes me like, 38 right? AWESOME!

  33. Hello Jeff, this is Rena Down’s daughter, Katie. I had the notion of looking my my mom up on the web which is not something I’ve done much of but came across your beautiful note about her after her passing and wanted to thank you for your incredibly kind words. I remember meeting Dunrieth a long time ago in Northampton. Please give her my best. I miss my mom every day and am hoping that she in a peaceful place wherever she is. All the best to you and thank you again! With gratitude and love, Katie

    • jeffkellylowenstein3

      Hi, Katie.

      Thank you so much for your lovely note. I apologize for not getting back to you sooner, but very much appreciate hearing from you.

      Your mother indeed was a tremendous woman who meant and means a lot to our family.

      I’ll pass along your good words to Dunreith, who was just talking about Rena and you the other day!

      Thanks again for reaching out to me. I feel like we know each other because of your mother and how often and lovingly she spoke about you in all ways, and look forward to meeting you in person as well.



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