The Marketplace of Ideas: Reform and Resistance in the American University (Issues of Our Time Series)by Louis Menand
Has American higher education become a dinosaur?See more details below
Has American higher education become a dinosaur?
Chicago TribuneTo anyone who has spent time on the inside, as they say, The Marketplace of Ideas is alternately bracing and chilling.... As ever, Menand writes like an angel, with the wry élan that made his previous book, The Metaphysical Club, such a winning exploration of the history of ideas. Kirk Davis Swinehart
Kirk Davis Swinehart - Chicago Tribune“To anyone who has spent time on the inside, as they say, The Marketplace of Ideas is alternately bracing and chilling.... As ever, Menand writes like an angel, with the wry élan that made his previous book, The Metaphysical Club, such a winning exploration of the history of ideas.”
Michael BerubeIn the four rigorously reasonable essays in The Marketplace of Ideas, Louis Menand takes up four questions about American higher education: "Why is it so hard to institute a general education curriculum? Why did the humanities disciplines undergo a crisis of legitimation? Why has 'interdisciplinarity' become a magic word? And why do professors all tend to have the same politics?"
The New York Times
Library JournalLike Charles Muscatine's Fixing College Education, below, this work examines issues related to the curriculum and the approach of the faculty; unlike Muscatine, Menand (English, Harvard; staff writer, The New Yorker) focuses on selective colleges and universities and especially on the humanities, explaining the importance of general education for all undergraduates, even though they may be more interested in career preparation than ideas. He links the difficulties for universities in promoting general education to tensions in academic careers emerging from faculty selection and training, uncertainties about disciplinary and interdisciplinary frameworks, and the strong frustrations in current academic career patterns. Menand puts these issues in a historical perspective in a thoughtful and graceful style but offers little hope that the structure of academic knowledge production and dissemination will support reforms. VERDICT An important, if traditional, view on the content of higher education. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 4/1/09.]
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