The Higher Learning in America: The Annotated Edition

The Higher Learning in America: The Annotated Edition : A Memorandum on the Conduct of Universities by Business Men

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Since its publication in 1918, Thorstein Veblen's The Higher Learning in America has remained a text that every serious student of the American university must confront. Intellectual historian Richard Teichgraeber brings us the first scholarly edition of Veblen's classic, thoroughly edited, annotated, and indexed. An extensive introduction discusses the book's composition and publishing history, Veblen's debts to earlier critics of the American university, and the place of The Higher Learning in America in current debates about the American university.

Veblen's insights into the American university system at the outset of the twentieth century are as provocative today as they were when first published. Insisting that institutions of higher learning should be dedicated solely to the disinterested pursuit of knowledge, he urged American universities to abandon commitments to extraneous pursuits such as athletics, community service, and vocational education. He also believed that the corporate model of governance-with university boards of trustees dominated by well-to-do businessmen and university presidents who functioned essentially as businessmen in academic dress-mandated unsavory techniques of salesmanship and self-promotion that threatened to reduce institutions of higher learning to the status of competitive business enterprises.

With a detailed chronology, suggested readings, and comprehensive notes identifying events, individuals, and institutions to which Veblen alludes, this volume is sure to become the standard teaching text for Veblen's classic work and an invaluable resource for students of both the history and the current workings of the American university.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 264 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 16mm | 363g
  • Baltimore, MD, United States
  • English
  • Annotated
  • Annotated
  • 6 Halftones, black and white
  • 1421416786
  • 9781421416786
  • 1,737,562

Table of contents

List of IllustrationsEditor's NoteSuggested ReadingsThorstein Veblen ChronologyIntroductionVeblen in Historical ContextThe Composition of The Higher Learning in AmericaThe Professors' Literature of ProtestVeblen and the Professors' Literature of ProtestWhat Set Veblen Apart? Why Read Veblen Today?The Higher Learning in AmericaPrefaceI. IntroductoryII. The Governing BoardsIII. The Academic Administration and PolicyIV. Academic Prestige and the Material EquipmentV. The Academic PersonnelVI. The Portion of the ScientistVII. Vocational TrainingVIII. Summary and Trial BalanceIndex
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Review quote

Richard F. Teichgraeber III (a professor of history at Tulane University), has prepared what's bound to remain the standard edition of the text for a long time to come. His extensive yet unobtrusive notes 'identify-when identification proved possible-events, institutions, persons and publications alluded to or mentioned,' and he glosses the literary quotations and biblical references embedded in Veblen's wild and sometimes woolly prose. The timeline of Veblen's life and the recommended-readings list benefit from the past three decades of Veblen scholarship. -- Scott McLemee * Inside Higher Ed * A coherent and bracing critique of higher education at the dawn of the twentieth century. -- Siva Vaidhyanathan * The Baffler * A must read for any student of higher education... The book is 100 years old, but the arguments made are regularly heard on 21st century college campuses. Teichgraeber and Johns Hopkins are to be congratulated for bringing this book back to people's attention, and every academic library should have a copy. * Choice * The introduction and annotations by Teichgraeber (Tulane Univ.)are likely to ensure that this will be the standard edition of Veblen going forward; given the degree to which it presages modern criticisms of academic institutions, it is a must read for any student of higher education. In addition, it is affordable enough to sit on the bookshelf of anyone with administrative responsibility on a college campus. The book is 100 years old, but the arguments made are regularly heard on 21st-century college campuses. Teichgraeber and Johns Hopkins are to be congratulated for bringing this book back to people's attention, and every academic library should have a copy. * American Library Association *
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About Thorstein Veblen

One of the most influential social scientists of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, Thorstein Veblen (1857-1929) wrote numerous books, including The Theory of the Leisure Class: An Economic Study in the Evolution of Institutions and The Instinct of Workmanship: And the State of the Industrial Arts. Richard F. Teichgraeber III is a professor of history at Tulane University. He is the author of Building Culture: Studies in the Intellectual History of Industrializing America, 1867-1910 and Sublime Thoughts/Penny Wisdom: Situating Emerson and Thoreau in the American Market.
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