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America's Education Deficit and the War on Youth: Reform Beyond Electoral Politics [Kindle Edition]

Henry A. Giroux
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Book Description

America’s latest war, according to renowned social critic Henry Giroux, is a war on youth. While this may seem counterintuitive in our youth-obsessed culture, Giroux lays bare the grim reality of how our educational, social, and economic institutions continually fail young people. Their systemic failure is the result of what Giroux identifies as “four fundamentalisms”: market deregulation, patriotic and religious fervor, the instrumentalization of education, and the militarization of society. We see the consequences most plainly in the decaying education system: schools are increasingly designed to churn out drone-like future employees, imbued with authoritarian values, inured to violence, and destined to serve the market. And those are the lucky ones. Young people who don’t conform to cultural and economic discipline are left to navigate the neoliberal landscape on their own; if they are black or brown, they are likely to become ensnared by a harsh penal system.
Giroux sets his sights on the war on youth and takes it apart, examining how a lack of access to quality education, unemployment, the repression of dissent, a culture of violence, and the discipline of the market work together to shape the dismal experiences of so many young people. He urges critical educators to unite with students and workers in rebellion to form a new pedagogy, and to build a new, democratic society from the ground up. Here is a book you won’t soon forget, and a call that grows more urgent by the day.

Editorial Reviews


“This is classic Giroux in the sense that it contains all the passion, empathy, and righteous anger that we have come to associate with Henry Giroux. Impressive in his unflagging commitment to a public pedagogy that creates, sustains, and expands our discussions of what it means to be a citizen and member of a world community. Among so many strengths, I would single out this book’s attention to the youth of the world—not as ‘resources’ to be ‘developed’ and ‘trained,’ but as our best hope for a just world.”-David Palumbo-Liu, author, The Deliverance of Others: Reading Literature in a Global Age

“Giroux has written a compelling critical discourse analyzing the present crisis of democracy. We can only hope it will become a manifesto, taken up by an informed and energized citizenry—ready to act.”-Carol Becker, Professor of the Arts and Dean of the School of the Arts, Columbia University

“From Mobil/Exxon to the two presidential candidates, everyone has a cure for the ills of education, but as usual Henry Giroux sees the truth behind the rhetoric. Stop stealing the future from our young people, especially in the working class. Unable to get decent educations, chained to dead-end jobs, our young people are the targets of state-sponsored violence. Giroux knows personally this situation; this book is his intellectual autobiography. Listen to him and act.”-John Carlos Rowe, University of Southern California

About the Author

Henry A. Giroux is a social critic and educator. He currently holds the Global Television Network Chair in Communication Studies at McMaster University, Ontario.

Product Details

  • File Size: 408 KB
  • Print Length: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Monthly Review Press (April 1, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #524,708 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
"America's Education Deficit and the War on Youth" by Henry Giroux is a searing critique of the corporatization of American education and what to do about it. Dr. Giroux is a highly influential scholar who has studied, written and taught on the subjects of education and culture for many decades. This passionate, intelligent and engaging book should appeal to everyone concerned about youth, democracy and the future.

Dr. Giroux connects the education deficit with the power of corporate authoritarianism. He observes that the public education system is under pressure to minimize critical thinking and science literacy so that students do not possess the skills to meaningfully question or challenge the status quo. As the privileges of the wealthy remains beyond reproach, pseudo-intellectuals are granted license to scapegoat immigrants, minorities, workers and the young. The author cites Mitt Romney's deceitful presidential campaign of 2012 as proof of how corporate public relations machines have been designed to narrow the discourse, manipulate facts and exclude the poor.

Dr. Giroux details the four fundamentalisms that empower the national security state. These include a market fundamentalism that espouses an extreme form of economic Darwinism; a religious fundamentalism that substitutes faith for critical thinking; an educational fundamentalism of punishment and privatization that excludes the public good; and a military fundamentalism of force and aggression that crowds out dialogue and civility.

Fortunately, Dr. Giroux explains how the Occupy movement has articulated a popular response to the corporate political agenda. Despite the criminalization of dissent, people have had the courage to speak truth to power. Dr.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Schooling in Capitalist America Redux May 29, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
This book by Henry Giroux is a timely exposition of the inherent unsavoriness of how our nation's educational, social, and economic institutions continually shape our kin to be nothing but, as Bowles & Gintis argued in 'Schooling in Capitalist America, passive/submissive suppliers of product. We see the consequences by way of the exacerbation of inauthentic theocratic values imbued with mindless consumerism and blind obedience to power, which altogether negate the conditions for successive generations to reach their full human potential.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read! June 28, 2013
By Doak W.
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Henry Giroux assists in painting a picture of American Education that goes well beyond what
you have heard before. He reveals the causes of our school problems and provides solutions
that are worth considering. I highly recommend this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Some Excellent Points In Need Of Fleshing Out May 6, 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Giroux states his case that what passes for education and education policy in the U.S. amounts to a devastating attack upon our young people. But, at times, the book has the feel of a rush job. This could be as much the fault of the editor as Giroux's. For one thing, the strong criticisms are not fully explained, and they leave one hanging in mid argument. For another, there is a noticeable repetition of both phraseology and statements. Still, in the current debate over our educational crisis, it is a helpful addition… better said, a supplement to the highly recommended "Reign of Error," by Diane Ravitch.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars America's Education Deficit and the War on Youth July 13, 2013
In America's Education Deficit and the War on Youth, Henry A. Giroux argues for a critical pedagogy to be utilized by teachers to engage youth that, as the title implies, are the target of neoliberal war that has as it's goal to "manufacture" youth to be passive, submissive, depoliticized, and demoralized consumers. What exactly are the majority of American youth consuming? Are they consuming media that encourages democratic principles, non-violent conflict resolution, critical thinking, and civic responsibility? Are they being taught, by public education, the skills necessary to engage in their world and govern instead of being governed? Giroux answers these questions by examining how casino capitalism has lead to attacks on the social state, public institutions, and civic morality. How these attacks continue to add to America's education deficit and the war on youth are explored at length throughout the book. Especially informative is how religious fervor, market deregulation, and the increasing militarization of society fuel the degradation of America's public education system and the escalation of violence towards, and perpetrated by, youth. By connecting seemingly disparate ideas, Giroux provides a clear and concise explanation of why educators, intellectuals, artists, social workers, and anyone else interested in transforming America's public education system and decreasing violence directed towards youth should practice critical pedagogy. A must read for anyone interested in understanding how monopoly-finance capitalism, philanthropists, gun manufactures, and the media collude to become a corrosive force that creates a "suicidal state" in which many immigrants, women, the elderly, the poor, people of color, and youth are at best disenfranchised, exposed to increasing levels of violence, and at worst killed. Remember: Neoliberalism's goal is to enhance the wealth and power of those already rich.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for all parents December 30, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Henry Giroux's insight through a complete analysis of our education system throughout the US begs for reform of a system directed by the insane.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great book - informational sourse - only wish the book were fiction :)
Published 10 months ago by no fiction
2.0 out of 5 stars Ebooks are not for me
I purchased the ebook version of this and other books and found that I just don't like reading on a electronic device. I want a book in my hands. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Joseph
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read for ever politician!
This work must be given to each elected official in the world! But, first it should be read by every teacher, parent, religious leader, and child advocate. Seminal work!
Published 17 months ago by Patrick
4.0 out of 5 stars Wake up America
We are being duped into thinking things will improve..they won't..but as long as we have our iPods and Reality TV we won't have to face the real reality.
Published 17 months ago by artemis
2.0 out of 5 stars Well-suited to deaf ears
The book attempts to make a few decent, if not exactly revelatory, points via repetitious pompous pontification. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Economic Inequality starts with one's education and position in...
Very well written and researched, readable, progressive / radicle analysis of American education and how the shift from a good public education system has been brought about by... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Bruce M. Kerner
3.0 out of 5 stars Is This Price Correct?
If this book is as important as it appears to be, then the $75 price for a book of just 225 pages makes no sense, unless the intended audience is a small in-group of academics and... Read more
Published 23 months ago by Joshua T
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