- Paperback: 412 pages
- Publisher: Odysseus Group (November 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0945700040
- ISBN-13: 978-0945700043
- Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 8.8 x 11 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.9 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #162,725 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Underground History of American Education: A School Teacher's Intimate Investigation Into the Problem of Modern Schooling Paperback – November, 2000
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Top Customer Reviews
THE UNDERGROUND HISTORY OF AMERICAN EDUCATION is a freewheeling investigation into the real - as opposed to the `official' - history of schooling, focused on the U.S. but with examinations of other historical examples for the purposes of comparing and contrasting, as well as for tracing where ideas and concepts related to education originated. You will discover things you were never told in the official version, things that will, at times, surprise, disgust, and scare you. You will also be introduced to the little-known historiography of the the darker side of the construction of compulsory government schooling.
In the final analysis, Gatto believes that compulsory, government-run schooling is inherently destructive to true education, the cultivation of self-reliance, and indeed to individualism - which used to be a defining element of the American character. The true purpose of our public school system in reality has more to do with control than it does with learning. This does not mean that rank-and-file teachers, principals, and even superintendents believe they are making students dumber, more conformist, less self-reliant, less capable of genuine analytical, independent thought, and more easily controlled; most people involved in the system no doubt believe that they are trying their best to really teach their students.Read more ›
I really wanted to love this book, and ideologically, I did. I agree much with Gatto's depiction of public ed's history as one that seeks to homogenize and discipline people rather than to encourage independent thought and learning. I agree with Gatto's assessment that the education "system" existing before public ed was generally better than is portrayed in most education history books (for a good book about this read Market Education: The Unknown History (Studies in Social Philosophy and Policy)), and that the entrepreneurial spirit is much more likely to come from self-education than standardized, mass, compuslory education.
The two stars I subtracted are for the insufficient documentation this book provides. As the saying goes, extraordinary claims do require extraordinary evidence, and anyone looking for the latter (regardless of whether they agree with Gatto's former) will be disappointed! Simply put, there are no citations in this book. Even direct quotes are not accompanied by citations, connoting an absolute breach of fair play.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Want to know why our schools are messed up ? Here is the ugly truth, well documented. It is impossible to fix them without understanding the sources of the problems. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Big Red
Well worth the read. Don't let the size of the book intimidate you - Mr. Gatto knows how to tell a story. Read morePublished 10 months ago by afreeman
The book tells the reader how much the modern school system was affected by the Hindu caste system and the Prussian system. Read morePublished 11 months ago by William
Well-documented, extensive, historically accurate. Gatto's book provides an extensive and eloquent obliteration of the modern fraudulent school system that systematically harms... Read morePublished 13 months ago by writerman
The people who are impressed with this book fall into two camps (1) those who rabid agree with Gatto's political/cultural agenda and are unable to be critical themselves and (2)... Read morePublished 15 months ago by JDNM
I read the reviews that give 1 or 2 stars. Bull. This is the perhaps most important book I've ever read. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Jay Trout
Gatto's treatment of how compulsory schooling came into existence in the United States is fascinating, to say the least. Read morePublished on August 24, 2013 by Adriaan
Gatto breaks down how the public schooling system in America come to be and why it is terrible. Having been taught and brought up through the public education system graduating... Read morePublished on May 23, 2013 by P. Rangel