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Grace King Teacher Published in German Book

Grace King teacher Kirk Steen’s paper at an Austrian symposium at Auburn University was recently published in a German book that examined the life of the late writer Arthur Koestler.

Steen, who was the 2008 High School Teacher of the Year for the Jefferson Parish Public School System, produced a paper: “The Gladiators: Twentieth-Century Detours from Nineteenth-Century Optimism,” and later presented it in 2007 to the International Arthur Koestler Symposium. Steen’s paper became a chapter in a book edited by Auburn professor Dr. Robert G. Weigel entitled Arthur Koestler: Ein heller Geist in dunkler Zeit (A Bright Spirit in Dark Times).

Steen’s paper analyzes Koestler’s first novel, The Gladiators, in light of its author’s nineteenth-century liberal values. The Gladiators (1939) is a fictional retelling of the story of Spartacus and the first-century slave rebellion against the Roman Empire. Koestler believed the failed slave rebellion stood for the failure of the Russian Revolution to live up to its promises.