U.S. educational reforms and standards have been a topic of public debate for decades, with the latest go-round being the State Common Core Curriculum Standards. But time and again those reforms have failed, and each set of standards, no matter how new and different, has had little impact on improving student achievement. Why? In Tyrany of the Textbook, author Beverlee Jobrack presents textbooks as the culprit, explaining that they are sold because of their design and superficial features, not because of their content or ability to promote student learning and achievement. Recently retired from educational publishing, Jobrack presents an engaging and fascinating look behind-the-scenes of how K-12 textbooks are developed, written, adopted, and sold. And, perhaps most important, she clearly spells out how the system can change so that reforms and standards have a shot at effectiveness.