Whose America? Culture Wars in the Public Schools

ISBN-10: 0674018605
ISBN-13: 9780674018600
Edition: 2002
List price: $26.50 Buy it from $4.21 Rent it from $12.00
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Description: What do America's children learn about American history, American values, and human decency? Who decides? In this absorbing book, Jonathan Zimmerman tells the dramatic story of conflict, compromise, and more conflict over the teaching of history and  More...

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Book details

List price: $26.50
Copyright year: 2002
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publication date: 11/30/2005
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 320
Size: 5.25" wide x 8.00" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 0.726
Language: English

What do America's children learn about American history, American values, and human decency? Who decides? In this absorbing book, Jonathan Zimmerman tells the dramatic story of conflict, compromise, and more conflict over the teaching of history and morality in twentieth-century America. In history, whose stories are told, and how? As Zimmerman reveals, multiculturalism began long ago. Starting in the 1920s, various immigrant groups--the Irish, the Germans, the Italians, even the newly arrived Eastern European Jews--urged school systems and textbook publishers to include their stories in the teaching of American history. The civil rights movement of the 1960s and '70s brought similar criticism of the white version of American history, and in the end, textbooks and curricula have offered a more inclusive account of American progress in freedom and justice. But moral and religious education, Zimmerman argues, will remain on much thornier ground. In battles over school prayer or sex education, each side argues from such deeply held beliefs that they rarely understand one another's reasoning, let alone find a middle ground for compromise. Here there have been no resolutions to calm the teaching of history. All the same, Zimmerman argues, the strong American tradition of pluralism has softened the edges of the most rigorous moral and religious absolutism.

Jonathan Zimmerman is professor of education and history at New York University. His books include "Small Wonder: The Little Red Schoolhouse in History and Memory" and "Innocents Abroad: American Teachers in the American Century". His writing has appeared in the "New York Times", the "Washington Post", and other publications.

Introduction: Beyond Dayton and Chicago
History Wars
Ethnicity and the History Wars
Struggles over Race and Sectionalism
Social Studies Wars in New Deal America
The Cold War Assault on Textbooks
Black Activism, White Resistance, and Multiculturalism
God in the Schools
Religious Education in Public Schools
School Prayer and the Conservative Revolution
The Battle for Sex Education
Epilogue: Searching for Common Ground
Abbreviations
Notes
Acknowledgments
Index

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