Killing the Spirit
In this book, the author of the eight-volume People’s History of the United States addresses the current state and future of education, traces its origins and development, and calls for radical changes in the system.
Book News wrote: “In contrast to the neo-conservative critique of academic leftists… Smith… goes for the right target–the institution, not the individual. The problems: …the flight from teaching due to tenure requirements; the worthlessness of most research and the mediocrity of most monographs; the narrowing of the disciplines; [and] the dominance of the ‘scientific’ approach.”
Publisher’s Weekly wrote: “Smith, founding provost of UC Santa Cruz, contributes probing, provocative insights. With a tribute to his undergraduate mentor, Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy, [Dartmouth] social philosophy professor and often disparaged radical thinker, the author sets about ‘mapping the desert’ of contemporary higher education… He sums up its present state as ‘academic fundamentalism.’ …In Smith’s view, a meld of the classical Christian traditions with secular democracy may restore the modern university as a true ‘academic community.'”