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6 Reviews
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3 star:
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent primer on the politics and policy of civic education
Finished this over the weekend. It's a great, thoughtful compilation, edited by a rising writer and civics leader. Feith ably balances the various views and takes, presenting a comprehensive volume that's of interest, I'd say, to both academics and a general audience. Pick it up.
Published on September 12, 2011 by Robert Costa

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Civics are important but the book leaves out critical issues
No reasonable person could quarrel with the idea that future citizens of the nation need to know its history and the principles and structure of government. The book's contributors include a balanced, throughful set of experts, led off by Sandra Day O'Connor. Having served as an often-praised Supreme Court Justice, she shows her own commitment to society by her active...
Published on December 29, 2011 by Frank T. Manheim


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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent primer on the politics and policy of civic education, September 12, 2011
This review is from: Teaching America: The Case for Civic Education (Paperback)
Finished this over the weekend. It's a great, thoughtful compilation, edited by a rising writer and civics leader. Feith ably balances the various views and takes, presenting a comprehensive volume that's of interest, I'd say, to both academics and a general audience. Pick it up.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Civics are important but the book leaves out critical issues, December 29, 2011
No reasonable person could quarrel with the idea that future citizens of the nation need to know its history and the principles and structure of government. The book's contributors include a balanced, throughful set of experts, led off by Sandra Day O'Connor. Having served as an often-praised Supreme Court Justice, she shows her own commitment to society by her active post-retirement efforts to promote good governance.

But I suggest that the book has three critical gaps - besides the lack of a table of contents cited by the lowball reviewer. Without covering these essential areas the book - despite its thoughtful essays - probably won't offer an effective guide to get us to where the authors want us to go. Consider this. The query for "books, U.S. educational policy" in Google Scholar yields 2,590,000 scholarly titles! These are not just book titles - they include reviews, etc. But we've got plenty of talk and not much balanced action.

1 ) Before the 1960s high school curricula throughout the nation included civics. The book doesn't trace history and explain why we long had civics emphasis in primary and secondary school curricula but lost it in the 1960s. If this question isn't resolved or at least taken up, what's the likelihood that efforts to restore civics will be successful or long lasting?

2) The book suggests that various trends - "political reform, digital tools, charter schools, strategic philanthropy, teachers, and education reformers, policymakers at all levels of government .... can advance civics renewal". With many conflicts and interest groups in U.S. society, will these diverse actors really bring it about? Are the authors part of a practical/political movement to make it happen? Or do they just like the feeling of discussing big ideas that some insightful politician will pick up and implement? (lots of luck).

3) The issue of social ethics doesn't appear in the book or its index as a critical requirement. Think about it: powerful people like ENRON executives Ken Lay, Jeffery Skilling, and Richard Causey didn't lack knowledge of governmental systems. Neither did executives of the formerly straight-arrow accounting firm, Arthur Andersen, as well as a list of influential scandal-tinged politicians. Rather, they exploited their knowledge for personal benefit.

I do credit the book's theme and concerns. As James Madison recognized from his studies of Classical Greek and Roman authors, democracy was always prone to being corrupted. He felt that democracy will only work if education inculcates future citizens with both knowledge and a sense of social responsibility.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Suggestion, December 18, 2011
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This review is from: Teaching America: The Case for Civic Education (Paperback)
With high expectations, I bought this book after reading a review in the WSJ. My expectations were met. I have a suggestion, however, if there will be future editions. I think the book and the reader would benefit from an essay on the armed forces as a unifying and civilizing influence on Americans from very different backgrounds. Military service certainly had that effect upon me. It is the one place in America where elite private school kids and kids from the Philadelphia ghetto meet on common ground and must learn to rely on each other and get along. The end of conscription in 1973 also ended this phenomenon. Pity.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Kindle version 1 star No Table of Contents, December 26, 2011
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Giving this one star because the Kindle version not only has no active table of contents, it has NO table of contents.

Surprised a publisher would release this as an ebook with no table of contents. Especially at this price.

Returned the Kindle version for refund because of this.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good, March 2, 2013
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G. G Storey (Juneau, Alaska) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Teaching America: The Case for Civic Education (Paperback)
As with any collection of essays, there are those that are outstanding and those that cause readers to wonder why that particular author was included.

Alan M. Dershowitz's essay was outstanding and I truly admire that guy, even if I disagree with him on certain topics. Senator Bob Graham's, on the other hand, read as if he got the invitation to contribute and directed a college intern to write. And a few of the essays, were promoting programs the authors are involved in.

All in all, though, as a teacher of U.S. Government I wanted to buy a copy for each member of my local school board.

Good reading.
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5.0 out of 5 stars hope for correcting the course the U.S. is on..., October 8, 2014
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Great read. Necessity if the U.S. Is ever to regain its glory. Without a clear understanding of civic duty, we can be assured to repeat the Roman mistake.
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Teaching America: The Case for Civic Education
Teaching America: The Case for Civic Education by David Feith (Paperback - August 11, 2011)
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