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Engaging Young People in Civic Life

reviewed by Alan Singer - January 04, 2010

coverTitle: Engaging Young People in Civic Life
Author(s): James Youniss and Peter Levine (eds.)
Publisher: Vanderbilt University Press, Nashville
ISBN: 0826516505, Pages: 304, Year: 2009
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Former Congressional Representative Lee Hamilton, director of the Center on Congress at Indiana University, makes the purpose of this book clear in the preface. Civic education means moderated discussions in classrooms, encouraging participation in student government, preparing students to volunteer in their communities and enlist in the armed forces, and promoting participation in electoral politics. Civic engagement, as represented in this book, is polite. Unstated, but clear from its absence in the preface and throughout the text, it does not mean passion, and it does not mean questioning authority, challenging social inequality, and organizing protests against government policies. The Civil Rights Movement is briefly mentioned on page 7 and Martin Luther King, Jr. on page 273. NOW, abortion rights, the labor movement, student rights campaigns, community control, and anti-Vietnam war and anti-draft protests are never mentioned. It is hard to believe, but in a book that claims to explore engaging young... (preview truncated at 150 words.)

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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record, Date Published: January 04, 2010
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 15888, Date Accessed: 1/24/2021 4:27:53 PM

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About the Author
  • Alan Singer
    Hofstra University
    E-mail Author
    ALAN SINGER is a Professor of Secondary Education at Hofstra University with a specialization in social studies. He is the editor of Social Science Docket, a joint publication of the NYCSS and the NJCSS and author of New York and Slavery: Time to teach the Truth (SUNY, 2008) and Social Studies for Secondary Schools, 3rd edition (Routledge, 2008).
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