Synopses & Reviews
Has American higher education become a dinosaur? Why do professors all tend to think alike? What makes it so hard for colleges to decide which subjects should be required? Why do teachers and scholars find it so difficult to transcend the limits of their disciplines? Why, in short, are problems that should be easy for universities to solve so intractable? The answer, Louis Menand argues, is that the institutional structure and the educational philosophy of higher education have remained the same for one hundred years, while faculties and student bodies have radically changed and technology has drastically transformed the way people produce and disseminate knowledge. Sparking a long-overdue debate about the future of American education, The Marketplace of Ideas examines what professors and students—and all the rest of us—might be better off without while assessing what is worth saving in our traditional university institutions.
"[Menand] has the rare ability to tackle complex subjects and make them comprehensible and readable." ---Philadelphia Inquirer
According to Harvard professor Louis Menand, at a time when competition to get into and succeed in college has never been more intense, universities are providing a less useful education. In The Marketplace of Ideas, he assesses what is important in a traditional university—and what is not.
About the Author
Louis Menand is a professor of English at Harvard University and the author of The Metaphysical Club, which won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize in History. A longtime staff writer for the New Yorker, he lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Michael Prichard has played several thousand characters during his career. While he has been seen performing over one hundred of them in theater and film, Michael is primarily heard, having recorded well over five hundred full-length books. During his career as a one-man repertory company, he has recorded many series with running characters-including the complete Travis McGee adventures by John D. MacDonald and the complete Nero Wolfe mysteries by Rex Stout-as well as series by such masters as Mark Twain, John Cheever, and John Updike. His numerous awards and accolades include an Audie Award for Tears in the Darkness by Michael Norman and Elizabeth M. Norman and several AudioFile Earphones Awards, including for At All Costs by Sam Moses and In Nixon's Web by L. Patrick Gray III. Named a Top Ten Golden Voice by SmartMoney magazine, he holds an M.F.A. in theater from the University of Southern California. Michael appears regularly on the professional stage, including as a member of Ray Bradbury's Pandemonium Theatre Company, performing such great roles as Captain Beatty in Fahrenheit 451, which became the second-longest-running production in the Los Angeles area. Bradbury himself dubbed Michael "the finest Beatty in history."