Synopses & Reviews
Higher education by a battleground of ideas: the real problem, Gerald Graff says, is that students are not getting more out of the battle. In this lively book, Graff argues that the "culture wars" now being fought over multiculturalism and political correctness are actually a sign of the intellectual vitality of American education--but they need to be used creatively, made part of the educational process itself.
"Everyone to whom universities matter should read . . . . There could be no more tactful and well-informed guide than Mr. Graff to the actualities of university life. . . . A passionate tribute to the extraordinary difficulty and worth of learning, particularly in a climate of competing demands." Nina Auerbach
"Graff provides a useful analysis of the widespread incoherence in university education today, and even more importantly, some practical proposals for overcoming it. His idea of learning communities, based not on artificial consensus but on engaged argument, is most promising." Christian Science Monitor
"Engaging, hopeful, and persuasive." New York Times Book Review
Effectively explodes a whole corpus of myths that have become the conventional media wisdom about the 'crisis' in education.Graff argues eloquently for a curriculum that includes political debates and multicultural texts. . . . He wisely notes that the term 'common culture' is always evolving.
"Graff offers a highly readable and down-to-earth perspective on some of the most ballyhooed issues in higher education today. . . . By encouraging us to argue together, he may yet help us to reason together."--Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
Includes bibliographical references (p. -208) and index.
About the Author
Gerald Graff, a professor of English and education at the University of Illinois at Chicago and 2008 president of the Modern Language Association of America, has had a major impact on teachers through such books as Professing Literature: An Institutional History, Beyond the Culture Wars: How Teaching the Conflicts Can Revitalize American Education, and Clueless in Academe: How Schooling Obscures the Life of the Mind.