Customer Reviews: America's Education Deficit and the War on Youth: Reform Beyond Electoral Politics
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VINE VOICEon September 19, 2013
"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. Giroux contends that educators can meaningfully contribute to this dialogue on pertinent issues such as gun violence, the common good and anti-science curriculums. Teachers must embrace their role as public intellectuals and prepare young people to understand their unique place in history. Through a pedagogy of "educated hope", the author believes that students who possess political awareness can apply their critical thinking skills to constructing meaningful futures for themselves and others.

I highly recommend this remarkably insightful and powerful book to everyone.
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on May 29, 2013
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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on June 28, 2013
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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on May 6, 2014
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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on 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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on October 29, 2013
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 politics controlled by the money people who don't want the general population to be educated enough to question and advocate for change.
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on December 18, 2013
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!
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on December 16, 2013
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.
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on December 30, 2013
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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on August 24, 2015
This book tells it like it is, offering a no-nonsense view of the war on public education.
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