Academic Freedom in the Age of the College / Edition 1

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Overview

When this classic volume first appeared, academic freedom was a crucially important issue. It is equally so today. Hofstadter approaches the topic historically, showing how events from various historical epochs expose the degree of freedom in academic institutions. The volume exemplifies Richard Hofstader’s qualities as a historian as well as his characteristic narrative ability.

Hofstadter first describes the medieval university and how its political independence evolved from its status as a corporate body, establishing a precedent for intellectual freedom that has been a measuring rod ever since. He shows how all intellectual discourse became polarized with the onset of the Reformation. The gradual spread of the Moderate Enlightenment in the colonies led to a major advance for intellectual freedom. But with the beginning of the nineteenth century the rise of denominationalism in both new and established colleges reversed the progress, and the secularization of learning became engulfed by a tidal wave of intensifying piety.

Roger L. Geiger’s extensive new introduction evaluates Hofstadter’s career as a historian and political theorist, his interest in academic freedom, and the continuing significance of Academic Freedom in the Age of the College. While most works about higher education treat the subject only as an agent of social economic mobility, Academic Freedom in the Age of the College is an enduring counterweight to such histories as it examines a more pressing issue: the fact that colleges and universities, at their best, should foster ideas at the frontiers of knowledge and understanding. This classic text will be invaluable to educators, university administrators, sociologist, and historians.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Originally published in 1955 by Columbia U. Press and reprinted with an extensive new introduction. Hofstadter (1916-1970) provides a history of academic freedom since the medieval university. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781560008606
  • Publisher: Transaction Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/1/1995
  • Series: Foundations of Higher Education Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 284
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Roger L. Geiger is Distinguished Professor of Higher Education, Pennsylvania State University, and editor of Perspectives on the History of Higher Education.

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Table of Contents

Introduction to the Transaction Edition
I The European Heritage 3
II Harvard College from Dunster to Leverett 78
III The Colonial Colleges 114
IV Religion, Reason, and Revolution 152
V The Old-Time College, 1800-1860 209
Index 275
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