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Readin’ and Writin’ for the Hard-Hat Crowd: Curriculum Policy at an Urban University


reviewed by Priscilla Murolo — 2006

coverTitle: Readin’ and Writin’ for the Hard-Hat Crowd: Curriculum Policy at an Urban University
Author(s): Susan R. Merrifield
Publisher: Peter Lang Publishing, New York
ISBN: 0820455083, Pages: 139, Year: 2005
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“Now we must seek out, and support, those young people whose race, or recent immigration, or depressed economic status, denies them higher education….”  So declared the mission statement of the school known in this book as Urban State University.  Opening in fall 1965, it was one of many new campuses founded in that era, as state university systems reached out to the urban poor.  What distinguished U.S.U. was a commitment to elite education.  Its founders envisioned a “working class Harvard” (p. 10) where the very brightest of the poor could acquire a suitably rigorous education in the liberal arts.  As Susan Merrifield shows, the past 40 years have taken U.S.U. ever further from this goal. The book delivers somewhat less than its title suggests.  This is not for the most part a study of Urban State’s curriculum across the board.  Instead, it zeroes in on the English department and, more specifically,... (preview truncated at 150 words.)


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 108 Number 8, 2006, p. 1555-1558
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 12236, Date Accessed: 10/20/2017 6:49:10 AM

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About the Author
  • Priscilla Murolo
    Sarah Lawrence College
    E-mail Author
    PRISCILLA MUROLO teaches history at Sarah Lawrence College, where she also directs the graduate program in women’s history. Her most recent book (co-authored with Ben Chitty) is From the Folks Who Brought You the Weekend: A Short, Illustrated History of Labor in the United States (2001). Her current research focuses on federal military interventions into civil affairs inside the United States.
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