Paper ISBN: 9780804723640
Digital ISBN: 9780804765770
'The crisis of liberal education is ... an intellectual crisis of the first magnitude, which constitutes the crisis of our civilization.' These doomsday words of Allan Bloom in The Closing of the American Mind (1987) are among the latest and most politically inflammatory manifestations of a 'crisis' that this book demonstrates has been going on for two centuries. In contrast to the heated polemics and hyperbole of current debates concerning the role of higher education in the United States, this eloquent, balanced, and witty book seeks to bring sense to a volatile subject by reminding us that controversy has always surrounded the curriculum of the modern university. It points out where and how contemporary critics of the curriculum are wrong, historically speaking, and it shows how American ideals of 'liberal education' are obscure, the product of many different attitudes and historical intentions.
"Required reading for any citizen seriously concerned about the role of higher education in a democratic society."
—Stanley N. Katz
"An excellent contribution to the debates on the university dominating American education today. The author provides an incisive, objective analysis of the conflict over liberal education's place and function in the university curriculum. A chronological approach is used to examine the continuous crises and curricular wars over liberal education's role."