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The Department of Education Battle, 1918-1932: Public Schools, Catholic Schools, and the Social Order


reviewed by Benjamin Justice — 2006

coverTitle: The Department of Education Battle, 1918-1932: Public Schools, Catholic Schools, and the Social Order
Author(s): Douglas J. Slawson
Publisher: University of Notre Dame Press, Notre Dame, IN
ISBN: 0268041105, Pages: 332, Year: 2005
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Traditionally, research on the relationship between religion and public education in the United States has brought with it an unusually strong sense of passion. Histories of Catholic education through most of the 20th century resembled promotional literature—defensive, parochial, and oversimplified.  They argued that despite overwhelmingly hostile public schools, Catholics united to preserve their customs and faith, emerging as champions of traditional American values. Histories of public education were similarly myopic, ignoring nonpublic schools and denying the role of religion in the development of supposedly neutral public education. Revisionist scholarship from both perspectives has challenged these notions, questioning the unity of Catholic attitudes toward education; challenging the religious neutrality of public schools; and suggesting ways in which Catholics, Protestants, and other religious groups settle their differences at the local level. Douglas J. Slawson's book, The Department of Education Battle, 1918–1932: Public Schools, Catholic Schools, and the Social Order (2005), contributes to... (preview truncated at 150 words.)


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 108 Number 5, 2006, p. 877-881
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 12130, Date Accessed: 12/17/2017 8:30:42 PM

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About the Author
  • Benjamin Justice
    Rutgers University
    E-mail Author
    BENJAMIN JUSTICE is an Assistant Professor of Education and (by courtesy) History at Rutgers University. His research focuses on the history of American education and the politics of history education. He is the author of The War That Wasn’t: Religious Conflict and Compromise in the Common Schools of New York State, 1865–1900 (SUNY, 2005); has published articles in the History of Education Quarterly, Social Education, and New York History; and has contributed chapters to various edited books. Dr. Justice is a 2005–2006 National Academy of Education/Spencer Post-Doctoral Fellow, and is currently beginning a book that explores Americans’ use of education in nation building.
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