Cover: Innocents Abroad: American Teachers in the American Century, from Harvard University PressCover: Innocents Abroad in PAPERBACK

Innocents Abroad

American Teachers in the American Century

Add to Cart

Product Details

PAPERBACK

$30.00 • £24.95 • €27.00

ISBN 9780674032064

Publication Date: 12/15/2008

Short

312 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

World

Protestant missionaries in Latin America. Colonial “civilizers” in the Pacific. Peace Corps Volunteers in Africa. Since the 1890s, thousands of American teachers—mostly young, white, middle-class, and inexperienced—have fanned out across the globe. Innocents Abroad tells the story of what they intended to teach and what lessons they learned.

Drawing on extensive archives of the teachers’ letters and diaries, as well as more recent accounts, Jonathan Zimmerman argues that until the early twentieth century, the teachers assumed their own superiority; they sought to bring civilization, Protestantism, and soap to their host countries. But by the mid-twentieth century, as teachers borrowed the concept of “culture” from influential anthropologists, they became far more self-questioning about their ethical and social assumptions, their educational theories, and the complexity of their role in a foreign society.

Filled with anecdotes and dilemmas—often funny, always vivid—Zimmerman’s narrative explores the teachers’ shifting attitudes about their country and themselves, in a world that was more unexpected and unsettling than they could have imagined.

Recent News

Black lives matter. Black voices matter. A statement from HUP »

From Our Blog

(logo) SpeakOUT: 50th Anniversary

Speaking with SpeakOut Boston

We continue our celebration of Pride Month by talking with some of the speakers who volunteer with SpeakOUT Boston. They share their stories with a variety of audiences to foster a better understanding of the LGBTQ+ community, so we thought we’d ask them some questions of our own.