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A History of American Higher Education Paperback – May 12, 2004

ISBN-13: 978-0801880049 ISBN-10: 0801880041

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press (May 12, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801880041
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801880049
  • Product Dimensions: 1.1 x 5.9 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #355,630 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

I do believe that the book is worthy of being the major new overview of U.S. higher education.

(Michael W. Simpson Education Review 2004-01-00)

A readable and concise introduction to this subject, it propels audience members to develop an appreciation for the heterogeneous... academe story as a whole.

(Todd C. Ream Teachers College Record)

Apart from being first-rate historical interpretation, Thelin's book offers several advantages that should make it attractive to the general reader as well as the scholar... His writing is brisk, concise, and humorous... Part public policy analyst and part social historian, Mr. Thelin weaves a tight narrative that keeps moving. He gives you the view from the administrative building, and he also tells you, often with accompanying photos, what students were like.

(Art Jester Lexington Herald-Leader)

This book was extremely well written and meticulously documented.

(NACADA)

Well written and engaging... retains the reader's attention... Thelin has raised the bar for historians of higher education to clear.

(Theodore J. Weidner Faciities Manager 2005-01-00)

Thelin offers an historical analysis of contemporary trends and issues in higher education today, e.g., access, affordability, accountability, and assessment. How colleges addressed those issues within different periods of time and societal contexts makes for a more enlightened image of higher education in the US as it exists today.

(Choice 2005-01-00)

Fills a real need in the scholarship... Accessible and informative, providing a reasonable foundation on which to build a rich understanding of the development of American higher education.

(Julie A. Reuben Register of the Kentucky Historical Society 2004-01-00)

Destined to be the standard work in this area for years to come.

(James J. Rhatigan Journal of College Student Development 2006-01-00)

Despite its age, Rudolph's single-volume history has endured... Now John Thelin's A History of American Higher Education provides a worthy replacement.

(Jana Nidiffer History of Education Quarterly 2006-01-00)

This is a splendid book, by far the best to appear on the subject since the 1962 publication of Frederick Rudolph's The American College and University: A History. John Thelin's work will supplant Rudolph's as the dominant overview of the history of American higher education. Comprehensive but not encyclopedic, Thelin's account is interspersed with lively anecdotes and a creative emphasis on cultural history that will keep the attention of readers. It is a tour de force.

(Thomas G. Dyer, University of Georgia)

Review

Worthy of being the major new overview of U.S. higher education.

(Education Review)

Destined to be the standard work in this area for years to come.

(Journal of College Student Development)

A readable and concise introduction to this subject, it propels audience members to develop an appreciation for the heterogeneous... academe story as a whole.

(Teachers College Record) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 39 people found the following review helpful By J. Stoner VINE VOICE on July 29, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"A History of American Higher Education" is a nice introduction into the topic of college history. However, it is most definately not definitive. Any reader would benefit from consulting other texts (which I will list at the end of this review). The book does focus heavily on the ivy league schools; but, for good reason because much of the early developing history of higher education happens at these schools (since they were the first schools).

This was one of the texts for a class I took and over the course of the course we (as a class) had some questions and were confused about some parts of the book so we emailed Thelin and he promptly answered our questions.

If you are interested in the history of higher education then I recommend the following texts to be read in conjunction with each other because none of the following are stand-alone and definitive texts in the subject matter.

"American College and University: A History" by Frederick Rudolph
"American Higher Education" by Christopher Lucas
"Campus Life: Undergraduate Cultures from the End of the Eighteenth Century to the Present" by Helen Lefkowitz Horowitz

And, for a well-researched look into the history of admissions at three ivy league schools (Harvard, Yale, and Princeton) I recommend "The Chosen" by Jerome Karabel.

Finally, if you are interested in the history of co-operative living I highly recommend the following historical account about the University of Kansas: "Making Do and Getting Through" by Fred McElhenie (it is locally published for the University of Kansas by Oread Books).
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful By R Smith on April 12, 2005
Format: Paperback
The book adds a few interesting and new insights to the history of higher education canon. Despite the author's status as a full-time professor, the writing style is clear and concise. Also, the author should receive praise for making history relevant in contemporary policy debates and disspelling several myths about the history of higher education.

On the other hand, this book mainly covers the history of ivy league institutions and the 30 or so national selective public and private universities. Maybe the quest for a comprehensive history of higher education -- one that truly covers all colleges and all students -- is elusive and perhaps impossible, but I remain hopeful someone will someday pull it off.

Bottom line: a pretty decent introduction to the history of higher education.
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Thelin's history is a must-read. A newer version is available, but this version is well worth the price as long as you do not have to cite it for a thesis or dissertation.
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This was a book for one of my classes and it to be great! it was in perfect condition- thanks
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First thought, you need to know your past before you can understand the present and change the future...

This book was used in my Master's of Higher Education (Student Affairs). We used it in our history of higher education in America. The book is on the dry side (just details and data) which sometimes makes it hard to sit and read for long periods. The history starts from the very beginning stages of America. It's interesting to see how we shaped our system from a multitude of other cultures. I have since used this book as a reference for other classes. The book is not only a great introduction to American Higher Education history, but a great reference book as well.
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Was exactly what I needed for class.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By ojosbellos29 on September 18, 2013
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This is a book required for our Higher Ed program and it is not a bad read. It flows. I like history, so this book is good.
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