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Pledging Allegiance: The Politics of Patriotism in America's Schools


reviewed by Melissa Bass July 19, 2007

coverTitle: Pledging Allegiance: The Politics of Patriotism in America's Schools
Author(s): Joel Westheimer
Publisher: Teachers College Press, New York
ISBN: 0807747505 , Pages: 240, Year: 2007
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In this book, Joel Westheimer brings together a collection of thoughtful and engaging essays on American schools’ teaching of patriotism, both what this means and how it should be taught. With 33 authors contributing short chapters and vignettes, the book conveys the feeling of a meaningful conversation, one with varied perspectives but also a broadly shared belief in “patriotism that embodies dissent” (p. 3). The book’s strength, and what makes it well worth reading, is found in the richly detailed, highly readable, and often personal stories its authors tell. Further, the diversity represented in the collection – across time and geography as well as race and ethnicity – both broaden its appeal and deepen its lessons. The book’s weakness, and what detracts somewhat from its contribution to our understanding of patriotism and education, is that there is so little dissent from the patriotism of dissent. However, if readers engage the... (preview truncated at 150 words.)


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record, Date Published: July 19, 2007
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 14559, Date Accessed: 12/14/2017 9:28:44 PM

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About the Author
  • Melissa Bass
    University of Puget Sound
    E-mail Author
    Melissa Bass is an Assistant Professor of Politics and Government at the University of Puget Sound. Her current research focuses on national service and citizenship, which will be explored in depth in her forthcoming book, The Politics and Civics of National Service: Lessons from the CCC, VISTA, and AmeriCorps.
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