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Small Wonder: The Little Red Schoolhouse in History and Memory (Icons of America)


Small Wonder: The Little Red Schoolhouse in History and Memory (Icons of America) Cover


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Publisher Comments:

The little red schoolhouse has all but disappeared in the United States, but its importance in national memory remains unshakable. This engaging book examines the history of the one-room school and how successive generations of Americans have remembered—and just as often misremembered—this powerful national icon.


Drawing on a rich range of sources, from firsthand accounts to poems, songs, and films, Jonathan Zimmerman traces the evolution of attitudes toward the little red schoolhouse from the late nineteenth century to the present day. At times it was celebrated as a symbol of lost rural virtues or Americas democratic heritage; at others it was denounced as the epitome of inefficiency and substandard academics. And because the one-room school has been a useful emblem for liberal, conservative, and other agendas, the truth of its history has sometimes been stretched. Yet the idyllic image of the schoolhouse still unites Americans. For more than a century, it has embodied the nations best aspirations and—especially—its continuing faith in education itself.

About the Author

Jonathan Zimmerman is professor of education and history, New York University. His previous books include Innocents Abroad: American Teachers in the American Century and Whose America? Culture Wars in the Public Schools. He lives in Narberth, PA.

Product Details

Zimmerman, Jonathan
Yale University Press
United States - General
School buildings
Administration - General
School buildings - Social aspects -
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Icons of America
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
15 bandw illus.
8.25 x 5.50 in

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Architecture » General
Education » General
History and Social Science » Americana » General
History and Social Science » US History » General

Small Wonder: The Little Red Schoolhouse in History and Memory (Icons of America) New Hardcover
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Product details 256 pages Yale University Press - English 9780300123265 Reviews:
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