Cover: Whose America?: Culture Wars in the Public Schools, from Harvard University PressCover: Whose America? in PAPERBACK

Whose America?

Culture Wars in the Public Schools

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Product Details


$29.50 • £23.95 • €26.50

ISBN 9780674018600

Publication Date: 11/30/2005


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Zimmerman does make a convincing argument. Examples of history textbooks published today substantiate his claim of a diversity coexisting with dullness. So, what exactly does Zimmerman’s position mean for the classroom? This book calls for a reexamination of how U.S. history is taught… This call for presenting multiple perspectives in American history classrooms is a timely one.—Athena Liss, Social Education

Zimmerman argues that the educational wars over religion in the schools and the content of history and social studies courses are separate battles with different stakes, and that the former have been more contentious than the latter. He offers histories of both since the 1920s to illustrate his point and concludes with suggestions about how the religious wars might be resolved. This is a thought-provoking and well-written book… [It] is essential reading for anyone concerned with these issues.—M. Engel, Choice

Zimmerman examines the culture wars that have been fought in America’s schools since the Civil War and divides what is commonly held to be one battle into two distinct conflicts, each with its own unique beginnings… By placing these conflicts within their historical context, the author leads readers to a deeper understanding of the issues and how they have influenced and continue to influence public school instruction. [A] landmark piece of scholarship.—Mark Alan Williams, Library Journal

Jonathan Zimmerman has written a terrific book. Beautifully written and deeply informed, Whose America? addresses issues in American education, politics and identity that are enormously important. It is the best study yet done of political battles about curriculum, how political horse-trading on all sides has shaped the nature and substance of textbook versions of history, and it has great relevance to debates currently raging about what is taught in schools, in matters of facts and values. On these inflammatory subjects, Zimmerman’s even-handed treatment of all sides of these deeply divisive issues is one of the book’s great strengths, and offers a lesson in itself to future historians.—Jeffrey Mirel, Professor of Educational Studies and History, University of Michigan

Jonathan Zimmerman’s provocative book reminds us that the passionately argued ‘culture wars’ in American public schools have a long history in America’s public schools. Whose America? illuminates those battles, old and new, with impressive scholarship and story-telling, and deep understanding of the combatants on all sides.—Diane Ravitch, Research Professor, New York University School of Education

Whose America? is original in its historical argument, thorough in its scholarship, lively in its style, and timely in its subject. It cuts through the polarized rhetoric of the culture wars and shows the virtue of controversy: ‘debating our differences may be the only thing that holds us together.’—David Tyack, Professor of Education and History, Stanford University

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