Take Back Higher Education: Race, Youth, and the Crisis of Democracy in the Post-Civil Rights Era / Edition 1

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Higher education is under siege. No longer viewed as a public good, it is attacked by businesses who want to refashion institutions in the image of the marketplace. Higher education is the target of cultural conservatives who have undermined academic freedom and access by deriding the academy as a hotbed of left-multicultural-radicalism and anti-Americanism. The historic mission to educate students as citizens motivated by democratic values is overshadowed by profit margins. Giroux and Giroux argue that the greatest danger faced by higher education comes from corporatization and educational apartheid. If higher education is to meet the challenges of a democratic future, it must encourage students to be critical thinkers and citizens, as it vouchsafes conditions for educators to produce scholarship in the service of an inclusive democracy.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Reminiscent of C. Wright Mills' The Sociological Imagination...This updated, necessary call for action for all academicians is refreshing to read."—Choice Magazine

"Henry and Susan Giroux are performing an immense public service with this book. It is a sweeping critique of how our culture, especially the educational establishment, has failed to prepare us for the crises of our time. And it offers hope for the possibility of resisting that and creating a new culture, inspirational and profoundly democratic."—Howard Zinn, author of A People's History of the United States

"Henry and Susan Giroux's extraordinary book is an electrifying call to educators to renounce political passivity and to assume the role of public intellectuals prepared to take back schools and universities from the predations of a business driven ideology that silences dissent and undermines democracy. A beautifully fashioned work of cultural history, it is also a rich and stimulating brew of elegant analysis and powerful polemic. Teachers from the kindergarten classrooms to the ivory tower will be grateful for the hope and affirmation the Girouxs' have give us. All in all, a magnificent achievement."—Jonathan Kozol

"Here, at last, is a critical study in the social sciences that explores with brilliant iconoclasm the connection between the post 9/11 de-democratization of America, the erosion of its politics and its civil rights, its inexorable drift into rabid conservatism, and recent attacks on the form and substance of higher education. Argued with enormous conviction and considerable insight, Take Back Higher Education does for contemporary pedagogy what the likes of John Dewey did for it long ago: insist that the health of our society depends not on consumption or the rampant production of wealth for the rich, but on educating new generations of citizens for open, informed public engagement, for constructive political involvement, for commitment to a social world built on justice and empowerment for all; in short, for all the things currently under threat in the security-obsessed, frightened USA of the early twenty-first century. Here, in other words, is a charter for real freedom through enlightenment, a charter that ought to have been accomplished two hundred or so years ago, but still requires a good fight. Henry and Susan Giroux have undertaken that fight with vigor, energy, and consummate intelligence."—John Comaroff, University of Chicago

Library Journal
The primary purpose of a college education is often understood to be teaching students to think for themselves. But more and more that purpose is under attack. On one side, the conservatives see higher education as being too permissive and freethinking (consider, e.g., the recent flack over Dr. Dennis Dailey's course on human sexuality at the University of Kansas, which was challenged by a state senator as being obscene). On the other side, corporations are eager to make a profit by sponsoring courses and funding materials for classes in exchange for training future company employees. The Girouxs (both professors at Pennsylvania State University) also point to the current administration's policies and actions as a major cause of the assault on higher education. Thanks to the rhetoric of the Bush administration, it's now commonly seen as un-American to question the actions of our leaders ("Either you're with us or you're against us"). Yet one of our duties as American citizens is to question and challenge our elected officials and our laws. The university is, and should always be, a stronghold of democracy, where students are free to choose what they want to learn. Both academic and public libraries will want to consider this important book.-Terry Christner, Hutchinson P.L., KS Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781403972903
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 4/17/2006
  • Edition description: ANN
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Henry A. Giroux holds the Global Television Network Chair in Communications in the Faculty of Humanities at McMaster University in Canada. He is the author of many books, including Stealing Innocence, Channel Surfing, and The Abandoned Generation. Susan Searls Giroux is Assistant Professor in the English Department at McMaster University. She is co-author of The Theory Toolbox and co-editor of The Review of Education/Pedagogy/Cultural Studies.

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Table of Contents

• The Post 9-11 University and the Project of Democracy
• Race, Rhetoric, and the Contest Over Civic Education
• Academic Culture, Intellectual Courage, and the Crisis of Politics
• Cultural Studies and Critical Pedagogy in the Academy
• The Multicultural Miracle: Depoliticizing Race in the Age of Privatization
• Neoliberalism Goes to College: Higher Education in the New Economy
• Youth, Higher Education, and the Breaking of the Social Contract: Towards the Possibility of a Democratic Future

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