1 year ago


innovative who were

innovative who were altering the nature of the industrial process." Conant is a school name that resonates through the central third of the twentieth century. He was president of Harvard from 1933 to 1953. His book The American High School Today (1959), was one of the important springs that pushed secondary schools to gigantic size in the 1960s and forced consolidation of many small school districts into larger ones. He began his career as a poison gas specialist in WWI, a task assigned only to young men whose family lineage could be trusted. Other notable way stations on his path being that of an inner circle executive in the top secret atomic bomb project during WWII, and a stint as U.S. High Commissioner for Germany during the military occupation after 1945. From Lewisite gas to nuclear explosions (or high schools), Conant delivered. In his book Conant brusquely acknowledges that conversion of old-style American education into Prussian-style schooling was done as a coup de main, but his greater motive in 1959 was to speak directly to men and women of his own class who were beginning to believe the new school procedure might be unsuited to human needs, that experience dictated a return to older institutional pluralistic ways. No, Conant fairly shouts, the clock cannot be turned back! "Clearly, the total process is irreversible." Severe consequences would certainly follow the break-up of this carefully contrived behavioral-training machine: "A successful counterrevolution...would require reorientation of a complex social pattern. Only a person bereft of reason would undertake [it]." Reading Conant is like overhearing a private conversation not meant for you yet fraught with the greatest personal significance. To Conant, school was a triumph of Anglo/Germanic pragmatism, a pinnacle of the social technocrat’s problem-solving art. One task it performed with brilliance was to sharply curtail the American entrepreneurial spirit, a mission undertaken on perfectly sensible grounds, at least from a management perspective. As long as capital investments were at the mercy of millions of self-reliant, resourceful young entrepreneurs running about with a gleam in their eye, who would commit the huge flows of capital needed to continually tool and retool the commercial/industrial/financial machine? As long as the entire population could become producers, young people were loose cannon crashing around a storm-tossed deck, threatening to destroy the corporate ship. Confined, however, to employee status, they became suitable ballast upon which a dependable domestic market could be erected. How to mute competition in the generation of tomorrow? That was the cutting-edge question. In his take-no-prisoners style acquired mixing poison gas and building atomic bombs, Conant tells us candidly the answer "was in the process of formulation" as early as the 1890s. By 1905 the nation obeyed this clarion call coast to coast: "Keep all youth in school full time through grade twelve." All youth, including those most unwilling to be there and those certain to take vengeance on their jailers. President Conant was quick to acknowledge that "practical-minded" kids paid a heavy price from enforced confinement. But there it was—nothing could be done. It was a worthy trade-off. I suspect he was being disingenuous. Any mind sophisticated enough to calculate a way to Table of Contents Page 366

short-circuit entrepreneurial energy, and ideology-driven enough to be willing to do that in service to a corporate takeover of the economy, must also be shrewd enough to foresee the destructive side effects of having an angry and tough-minded band of student-captives remain in school with the docile. The net effect was to nearly eradicate the intellectual possibilities of school instruction. Did Conant understand the catastrophe he helped induce? I think he did. He would dispute my judgment, of course, that it was a catastrophe. One of his close friends was another highly placed schoolman, Ellwood P. Cubberley, the Stanford Education dean. Cubberley had himself written about the blow to serious classwork caused by early experiments in forcing universal school attendance. So it wasn’t as if the destruction of academic integrity came as any surprise to insiders. Cubberley’s house history of American education refers directly to this episode, although in somewhat elliptical prose. First published in 1919, it was republished in 1934, the same year Conant took office at Harvard. The two men talked and wrote to one another. Both knew the score. Yet for all his candor, it isn’t hard to understand Conant’s reticence about discussing this procedure. It’s one thing to announce that children have to do involuntary duty for the state, quite another to describe the why and how of the matter in explicit detail. Another prominent Harvard professor, Robert Ulich, wrote in his own book, Philosophy of Education (1961): "[We are producing] more and more people who will be dissatisfied because the artificially prolonged time of formal schooling will arouse in them hopes which society cannot fulfill.... These men and women will form the avant-garde of the disgruntled. It is no exaggeration to say [people like these] were responsible for World War II." Although Ulich is parroting Toynbee here, whose Study of History was a standard reference of speculative history for decades, the idea that serious intellectual schooling of a universal nature would be a sword pointed at the established order, has been an idea common in the West since at least the Tudors, and one openly discussed from 1890 onwards. Thus I was less surprised than I might have been to open Walter Kotschnig’s Unemployment in the Learned Professions (1937), which I purchased for fifty cents off a blanket on the street in front of Columbia University from a college graduate down on his luck, to find myself listening to an argument attributing the rise of Nazism directly to the expansion of German university enrollment after WWI. For Germany, this had been a short-term solution to postwar unemployment, like the G.I. Bill, but according to Kotschnig, the policy created a mob of well-educated people with a chip on their shoulder because there was no work—a situation which led swiftly downhill for the Weimar republic. A whole new way to look at schooling from this management perspective emerges, a perspective which is the furthest thing from cynical. Of course there are implications for our contemporary situation. Much of our own 50 to 60 percent post-secondary college enrollment should be seen as a temporary solution to the otherwise awesome reality that two-thirds of all work in the United States is now part-time or short-term employment. In a highly centralized corporate workplace that’s becoming ever more so with no end in sight, all jobs are sucked like debris in a tornado into four hierarchical funnels of vast proportions: corporate, governmental, institutional, and Table of Contents Page 367

  • Page 1 and 2:

    An Underground History of American

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    Change Agents Infiltrate ..........

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    The Ford System And The Kronstadt C

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    Pathology As A Natural Byproduct ..

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    Bianca, You Animal, Shut Up! Prolog

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    combines, is there anything public

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    As I traveled, I discovered a unive

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    He drew... the things inside that n

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    questions or on their implication;

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    and I, in a dark time when all offi

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    history, embedded in a personal ess

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    Then, too, many Americans came out

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    difference between Americans and ev

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    war. [House was nine at the time.]

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    fine-tuned judgments every day they

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    2nd Rule—Unceasing kindness in to

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    the philosophical split which infor

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    scientific form became the main ecc

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    inventors and technicians without p

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    How Hindu Schooling Came To America

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    way to awaken intellect in the lowe

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    Custer’s Last Stand in Montana ha

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    liberty. Farragut When I was a scho

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    Ben Franklin Ben Franklin was born

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    prudential matters, both private an

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    discovered some of my faults, and c

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    friend, described Washington as a y

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    school and was well on his way to i

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    teaching "why it was unworthy of hi

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    more Ben Franklins or Tom Edisons c

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    1 This is the same Ellwood P. Cubbe

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    mimic the "due process" practice of

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    An Enclosure Movement For Children

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    superintendents were wise to the fa

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    state, but that was a radical contr

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    oth parents from home and deposited

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    and file of homeschoolers actually

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    mental reflection in a way schoolbo

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    Department, 80 percent of the incar

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    scores then creates the illusion th

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    spiritual longings of ordinary peop

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    molecular biology. There you have i

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    The Ideology Of The Text Looking ba

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    to represent sounds of their langua

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    arose to satisfy demand for a popul

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    point of a sharpened pencil into th

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    learning to read it was not necessa

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    The Pedagogy Of Literacy Between Ma

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    some bit of data. The sheer luxury

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    the total victory of whole-word rea

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    My own motive in being there was a

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    Such behavior provides the best exc

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    inventor of a reading system based

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    Hector Of The Feeble-Mind See thirt

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    Hector Isn't The Problem The countr

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    "The only way you can squeak throug

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    documents were destroyed at the dis

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    Think of this thing for the moment

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    My own school fell victim to a poli

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    Chapter 5 True Believers and The Un

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    Because of the predictable greed em

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    neighbor to the community for the f

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    and counting sticks (much as the Ar

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    last quarter of the nineteenth cent

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    too seriously. From it poured an ab

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    attitude.... Much new educational l

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    Carnegie’s "Gospel of Wealth" ide

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    Books give children "false ideals o

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    other of novelist Henry James. Jame

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    Tent-Chautauqua did a great deal to

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    church sociables and teachers’ co

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    Chapter 6 The Lure Of Utopia Every

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    flagrant opposition to the dominant

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    Producing Artificial Wants Beginnin

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    compulsion law intended to put chil

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    extraordinary vision of the learned

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    Between 1840 and 1860, male schoolt

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    Evil, only bad attitudes, and those

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    Rainey Harper, president of the Uni

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    teacher can just put stuff in the s

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    Chapter 7 The Prussian Connection P

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    Germany, after a thousand years as

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    Revolution, its social controls bei

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    Under Frederick William II, Frederi

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    lectures given by Robert Owen’s s

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    where teaching and learning were al

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    to create that abundance it became

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    portraits, tapestries, giant gold-f

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    of argument, now the Prussian conne

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    slits in the grate like an armored

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    would recognize the new opportunity

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    This contradiction is not unknown a

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    independence, knowledge, ability, c

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    utilization—is more than offset b

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    dangerous sciences was mostly limit

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    The abundance of wood in the United

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    industrialization and the demands o

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    fort in 1832, was by 1838 a flouris

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    chemical processes—is collected.

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    The confinement of American childre

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    Yet America had to be massified, an

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    students with serious literature, p

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    4. A fixation on maximum output. 5.

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    usiness-industrial groups, but of t

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    followed: by 1917 a bibliography of

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    The National Press Attack On Academ

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    himself is the prototypical social

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    This dinner and its implications se

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    monopolization of first the nation

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    An Everlasting Faith Fabianism was

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    These "educational missionaries" sp

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    Bobbit said Gary schools were the w

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    campaign can colonize your mind. Ev

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    contracts for materials and service

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    ole models. Old-fashioned teachers

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    Chapter 10 My Green River Each pers

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    was three. The carolers stood on a

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    An incredible vision, these things,

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    the physical presence of my town ne

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    Monongahela, but there was not a si

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    has also ruined its share of victim

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    they were arguing over an abortion

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    The spirit that came over Mother wh

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    "And could you now face the back of

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    every single day for an entire scho

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    who commissioned stone sculptures f

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    the steps into his subterranean wor

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    Chapter 11 The Church The thesis I

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    inferiors is a veritable manufactor

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    It was nothing short of marvelous t

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    Into the center of this racial exci

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    altered the path of sexual selectio

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    were seen to be clay, radical socia

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    people. It was a genuine secret soc

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    Her first muckraking book, Out of W

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    actively seek assistance from busin

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    Chapter 12 Daughters of the Barons

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    The episcopal rule of British Ameri

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    Peter Cookson and Caroline Persell

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    The Order of the Three Crusades, 10

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    monarchs of great Aryan houses. Abe

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    followed were to call it: The right

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    Unpopular Government Maine built a

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    them to be bankers, financiers, par

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    Francisco, the Pacific Union; in Wa

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    eyond its immediate circle of assoc

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    gigantic aggregate of capital and i

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    creation of Fabian socialism and th

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    consultancies were beginning to be

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    Like much that passes for wisdom on

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    ecome any type of specialist I migh

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    This had immense influence on the s

  • Page 305 and 306:

    4 For instance, the serious problem

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    of respect for the pedagogical ente

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    Thus is the student victim led to t

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    going on, selected tendrils from th

  • Page 313 and 314:

    Children were to be "loved into sub

  • Page 315 and 316: "New Thought Tide." Because many fe
  • Page 317 and 318: Margaret Sanger wrote, "the most me
  • Page 319 and 320: Napoleon Of Mind Science William Ja
  • Page 321 and 322: disciplines from child development
  • Page 323 and 324: Bending The Student To Reality Twic
  • Page 325 and 326: efore as the marching orders of the
  • Page 327 and 328: qualified to give expert opinion on
  • Page 329 and 330: people’s lives, became the most i
  • Page 331 and 332: coming out of the Decalogue, of Jud
  • Page 333 and 334: day-to-day meaning to compete again
  • Page 335 and 336: Everson v. Board Of Education (1947
  • Page 337 and 338: Judaism Religion is a school of its
  • Page 339 and 340: The neglected genius of American Ch
  • Page 341 and 342: Religion And Rationality The Suprem
  • Page 343 and 344: mathematical value so that citizens
  • Page 345 and 346: physical beauty or your wealth, you
  • Page 347 and 348: Chapter 15 The Psychopathology Of E
  • Page 349 and 350: guilty, once explained at a public
  • Page 351 and 352: from the assault on common sense. S
  • Page 353 and 354: What Really Goes On School wreaks h
  • Page 355 and 356: Ford. The role of grades, report ca
  • Page 357 and 358: cause to congratulate ourselves. (e
  • Page 359 and 360: ehavior. Now she laughs again. I ha
  • Page 361 and 362: Chapter 16 The Conspiracy Against O
  • Page 363 and 364: conspiracy against growing up, sad
  • Page 365: Published in 1918 near the end of t
  • Page 369 and 370: managed to survive and set the Nige
  • Page 371 and 372: Serving The Imperial Virus Toynbee
  • Page 373 and 374: intelligentsia is hated and despise
  • Page 375 and 376: The Release From Tutelage What kind
  • Page 377 and 378: close watch on three well-dispersed
  • Page 379 and 380: some topical. Nominally children, t
  • Page 381 and 382: 2) Teacher training colleges 3) Res
  • Page 383 and 384: middle-class American incomes is wo
  • Page 385 and 386: to divide school politics into a ma
  • Page 387 and 388: offered for selection as a Republic
  • Page 389 and 390: A Quality Education The mantra of "
  • Page 391 and 392: its purpose. We are left to assume
  • Page 393 and 394: After inspection, my architect pron
  • Page 395 and 396: There is no rival hypothesis to evo
  • Page 397 and 398: the decimal. Objections were overri
  • Page 399 and 400: in metaphor.) The rarely encountere
  • Page 401 and 402: particular culture it touches is de
  • Page 403 and 404: Magic At Work Magic in one form or
  • Page 405 and 406: There is perhaps no more naked stat
  • Page 407 and 408: What fascinates me most is the cold
  • Page 409 and 410: change. I learned that from Adam Sm
  • Page 411 and 412: Information technology people seek
  • Page 413 and 414: Later we chatted with the lady in a
  • Page 415 and 416: compensation for those whose busine
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    social insecurity is the direct leg

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    assumption that is found throughout

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    away. It was late, I was tired. To

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    twenty-six-foot boat and no nautica

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    Roland’s unique creation—a live

  • Page 427 and 428:

    General Braddock and British tradit

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    Braddock’s invincible army. Their

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    Nothing in human history gives us a

  • Page 433 and 434:

    Don’t let a world of funny animal

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    children free, we should understand

  • Page 437 and 438:

    anything. Anyway, whatever is chose

  • Page 439 and 440:

    Epilogue Only one nation refused to

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