When Myles Horton wrote this note on Christmas night in Copenhagen in 1931, he captured the long and promising future of his work as a radical educator. He had pursued an education by conventional means, studied independently, travelled, and experimented in search of 'something to offer' poor adults in the southern region of the United States. These efforts helped shape his beliefs about adult education and social change and they underpinned the development ofwhat he referred to as 'the only instrument I ever learned to play', the Highlander Folk School-now the Highlander Research and Education Center, New Market, Tennessee. Highlander was to be surrounded by controversy, failures and successes as it became involved in the most important social movements of the 20th century in the United States.