College: What It Was, Is, and Should Be
by Andrew Delbanco
What It's About
From the Princeton University Press website
: "As the commercialization of American higher education accelerates, more and more students are coming to college with the narrow aim of obtaining a preprofessional credential. The traditional four-year college experience--an exploratory time for students to discover their passions and test ideas and values with the help of teachers and peers--is in danger of becoming a thing of the past.
, prominent cultural critic Andrew Delbanco offers a trenchant defense of such an education, and warns that it is becoming a privilege reserved for the relatively rich. In arguing for what a true college education should be, he demonstrates why making it available to as many young people as possible remains central to America's democratic promise."
Why We're Reading It
Again, from the Princeton University Press website
: "In a brisk
and vivid historical narrative, Delbanco explains how the idea of
college arose in the colonial period from the Puritan idea of the
gathered church, how it struggled to survive in the nineteenth century
in the shadow of the new research universities, and how, in the
twentieth century, it slowly opened its doors to women, minorities, and
students from low-income families. He describes the unique strengths of
America's colleges in our era of globalization and, while recognizing
the growing centrality of science, technology, and vocational subjects
in the curriculum, he mounts a vigorous defense of a broadly humanistic
education for all. Acknowledging the serious financial, intellectual,
and ethical challenges that all colleges face today, Delbanco considers
what is at stake in the urgent effort to protect these venerable
institutions for future generations."
, therefore, helps to accomplish two of the goals
of Re:Thinking Education
: to reeducate
ourselves about the history
and purpose of the liberal arts, and to reassert
the effectiveness of
the liberal arts to empower undergraduates for global citizenship.
Where To Buy It
Purchase an e-copy for iBooks, Nook, or Kindle.