296 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 1 halftone, 8 tables, rough castoff all words (10/19/18): 111,160 words
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-6136-0
Published: August 2020
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4696-5953-4
Published: August 2020
eBook ISBN: 978-1-4696-5954-1
Published: June 2020
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Awards & distinctions
Finalist, 2021 George Washington Prize
In this book, Mark Boonshoft shows how many Americans saw the academy as a caricature of aristocratic European education and how their political reaction against the academy led to a first era of school reform in the United States, helping transform education from a tool of elite privilege into a key component of self-government. And yet the very anti-aristocratic critique that propelled democratic education was conspicuously silent on the persistence of racial and gender inequality in public schooling. By tracing the history of academies in the revolutionary era, Boonshoft offers a new understanding of political power and the origins of public education and segregation in the United States.
About the Author
Mark Boonshoft is executive director of the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies.
For more information about Mark Boonshoft, visit the Author Page.
“[Boonshoft’s] incisive narrative provides a useable past for dealing with issues of privatization, privilege, and inequity which continue to plague America’s public schools.” --American Nineteenth Century Review
“Exceptional in most every regard . . . thoroughly compelling. Historians of education, and of American history more generally, would do well to emulate [Boonshoft’s] approach.” --Journal of Southern History
“A deeply researched, well-written and unfailingly interesting contribution to the historiography of education and education reform in Colonial and Revolutionary America and the antebellum United States.” --History of Education
“Incisive and insightful. . . . More than just a history of education, it is an account of the political conflicts and compromises that shaped the early republic.” --Journal of American Studies
"Mark Boonshoft is outstanding in working with a huge range of sources and his argument is original, important, and convincing. Without exaggeration, this is a 'breakthrough book' of the first order."--Jason Opal, author of Avenging the People: Andrew Jackson, the Rule of Law, and the American Nation
"This work is innovative and exciting because it transforms our understanding of the academies that blossomed after the Revolution. Mark Boonshoft does an exceptional job revealing education’s role in the social and political development of the new United States."--Johann Neem, author of Democracy’s Schools: The Rise of Public Education in America