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Envisioning American Higher Education in an Era of Populist Protest
The University and the People chronicles the influence of Populism—a powerful agrarian movement—on public higher education in the late nineteenth century. Revisiting this pivotal era in the history of the American state university, Scott Gelber demonstrates that Populists expressed a surprising degree of enthusiasm for institutions of higher learning. More fundamentally, he argues that the mission of the state university, as we understand it today, evolved from a fractious but productive relationship between public demands and academic authority.
Populists attacked a variety of elites—professionals, executives, scholars—and seemed to confirm academia’s fear of anti-intellectual public oversight. The movement’s vision of the state university highlighted deep tensions in American attitudes toward meritocracy and expertise. Yet Populists also promoted state-supported higher education, with the aims of educating the sons (and sometimes daughters) of ordinary citizens, blurring status distinctions, and promoting civic engagement. Accessibility, utilitarianism, and public service were the bywords of Populist journalists, legislators, trustees, and sympathetic professors. These “academic populists” encouraged state universities to reckon with egalitarian perspectives on admissions, financial aid, curricula, and research. And despite their critiques of college “ivory towers,” Populists supported the humanities and social sciences, tolerated a degree of ideological dissent, and lobbied for record-breaking appropriations for state institutions.
Religious Conflict and Compromise in the Common Schools of New York State, 1865-1900
Historians of religion and public schooling often focus on conflict and Bible Wars, pitting Catholics and Protestants against one another in palpitating narratives of the embattled development of American public schooling. The War That Wasn’t tells a different story, arguing that in nineteenth-century New York State a civil system of democratic, local control led to adjustments and compromises far more than discord and bitter conflict. In the decades after the Civil War, New Yorkers from rural, one-room schools to big city districts hammered out a variety of ways to reconcile public education and religious diversity. This book recounts their stories in delightful and compelling detail. The common school system of New York State managed to keep the peace during a time of religious and ethnic pluralism, before sweeping educational reforms ended many of these compromises by the turn of the twentieth century.
The Desegregation of the University of Georgia
In September 1950, Horace Ward, an African American student from La Grange, Georgia, applied to law school at the University of Georgia. Despite his impressive academic record, Ward received a reply—in reality, a bribe—from one of the university's top officials offering him financial assistance if he would attend an out-of-state law school. Ward, outraged at the unfairness of the proposition and determined to end this unequal treatment, sued the state of Georgia with the help of the NAACP, becoming the first black student to challenge segregation at the University of Georgia.
Beginning with Ward's unsuccessful application to the university and equally unsuccessful suit, Robert A. Pratt offers a rigorously researched account of the tumultuous events surrounding the desegregation of Georgia's flagship institution. Relying on archival materials and oral histories, Pratt debunks the myths encircling the landmark 1961 decision to accept black students into the university: namely the notion that the University of Georgia desegregated with very little violent opposition. Pratt shows that when Ward, by then a lawyer, helped litigate for the acceptance of Hamilton Earl Holmes and Charlayne Alberta Hunter, University of Georgia students, rather than outsiders, carefully planned riots to encourage the expulsion of Holmes and Hunter. Pratt also demonstrates how local political leaders throughout the state sympathized with—even aided and abetted--the student protestors.
Pratt's provocative story of one civil rights struggle does not stop with the initial legal decision that ended segregation at the university. He also examines the legacy of Horace Ward and other civil rights pioneers involved in the university's desegregation—including Donald Hollowell and Constance Baker Motley—who continued for a lifetime to break color barriers in the South and beyond. We Shall Not Be Moved is a testament to Horace Ward, Hamilton Holmes, Charlayne Hunter-Gault, and others who bravely challenged years of legalized segregation.
Schools, Race, and the Struggle of Indian Acculturation
Conceptual founder of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, William Barton Rogers was a highly influential scientific mind and educational reformer of the nineteenth century. A. J. Angulo recounts the largely unknown story of one man's ideas and how they gave way to the creation of one of America’s premier institutions of higher learning. MIT's long tradition of teaching, research, and technological innovation for real-world applications is inexorably linked to Rogers’ educational philosophy. Emphasizing the “useful arts”—a curriculum of specialized scientific study stressing theory and practice, innovation and functionality—Rogers sought to revolutionize standard educational practices of the day. Controversial in an era typified by a generalist approach to teaching the sciences, Rogers’ model is now widely emulated by institutions throughout the world. Exploring the intersection of Rogers' educational philosophy and the rise of technical institutes in America, this biography offers a long-overdue account of the man behind MIT.
The Centennial Edition
In 1891 William Marsh Rice made a generous bequest in order to found the distinguished Houston institution that bears his name. Ironically, this very bequest helped to bring about his murder, an act of treachery perpetrated by a conniving attorney and Rice’s naïve, malleable manservant. This captivating tale—full of intrigue, legal twists and turns, and sensational revelations—an important part of the full biography of Rice himself, received its first careful historical investigation by Andrew Forest Muir, a longtime professor of history at Rice University who, beginning in 1957, performed the fundamental research that forms the basis for this biography. At the time of Muir’s death in 1969, the work remained incomplete. Subsequently, at the request of the Rice Historical Society, Sylvia Stallings Morris shaped the fruits of Muir’s labor into the first edition of this book, which was published in 1972. The new edition of William Marsh Rice and His Institute, edited by Randal L. Hall, returns this fine biography to print in connection with the celebration of the centennial of the opening of Rice University. Incorporating new and important sources unearthed since the publication of the original book, this revised edition retains all the flavor and meticulous care of the earlier work, especially the “finely crafted storytelling of Sylvia Stallings Morris Lowe and Andrew Forest Muir,” as characterized by Hall. Rice University students, faculty, staff, and alumni; scholars and students of Houston, Texas, and regional history; and those interested in the history of American higher education will all welcome William Marsh Rice and His Institute: The Centennial Edition.
The first volume to examine the contributions of women who brought the forces of American progressivism and Jewish nationalism to formal and informal Jewish education The conventional history of Jewish education in the United States focuses on the contributions of Samson Benderly and his male disciples. This volume tells a different story—the story of the women who either influenced or were influenced by Benderly or his closest friend, Mordecai Kaplan. Through ten portraits, the contributors illuminate the impact of these unheralded women who introduced American Jews to Hebraism and Zionism and laid the foundation for contemporary Jewish experiential education. Taken together, these ten portraits illuminate the important and hitherto unexamined contribution of women to the development of American Jewish education.
A History of English Composition in China
A history of the teaching of bilingual writing in China since the late nineteenth century. Drawing upon archival sources, the author explores how students struggled to inscribe their lived experiences through English writing and in the process made English their own.