Patricians, Professors, and Public Schools argues that the thinking behind efforts to reform American schools in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries emphasized two new ideas—that economic growth and the opportunity it created were more limited than had earlier been thought, and that popular aspirations should be revised downward accordingly.
After discussing the thinking that reformers reacted against in the first chapter of the book, later chapters examine those most responsible for these new ideas, especially Felix Adler and John Dewey. These chapters argue that reformers' fears about the social dislocation stemming from economic growth makes the most sense of the educational redirection they promoted.
This is a new interpretation of developments that have long been debated by American historians, and should be of interest to a wide variety of readers.
Allan S. Horlick, Ph.D. (1969) in History, University of Wisconsin, is Head of the History Department at Trinity School, New York. He has been Associate Professor of Educational History at New York University, and Associate Editor of
The History of Education Quarterly.
Those interested in American political, intellectual, and educational history.