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Killing the Spirit: Higher Education in America


reviewed by Frederick Rudolph 1990

coverTitle: Killing the Spirit: Higher Education in America
Author(s): Page Smith
Publisher: John Wiley, New York
ISBN: 0140121838, Pages: , Year:
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Back in the late 1940s when Page Smith was in graduate school at Harvard he was surely warned against the "devil theory of history," a posture that locates historical causation in conspiracy and villains and delivers an unreal and simplified view of the past. At Harvard, he tells us, he was also warned against the teachings of Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy, an emigre professor of social philosophy whose Spengleresque "vistas of history" (p. xi) had greatly influenced him as a Dartmouth undergraduate. There may have been no likelihood that Smith was going to pay any attention to those warnings, but Killing the Spirit, a cynical, bitter, disillusioned attack on the American university, is surely evidence that he has thoroughly ignored them. American higher education has been subjected to hostile scrutiny before-by William James, Thorstein Veblen, Upton Sinclair, Irving Babbitt, and more recently by Allan Bloom and William Bennett--but what makes Smith's contribution... (preview truncated at 150 words.)


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 92 Number 2, 1990, p. 319-321
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 374, Date Accessed: 10/22/2017 5:09:19 PM

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