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A History of American Higher Education

John R. Thelin

third edition
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The definitive history of American higher education—now up to date.

Colleges and universities are among the most cherished—and controversial—institutions in the United States. In this updated edition of A History of American Higher Education, John R. Thelin offers welcome perspective on the triumphs and crises of this highly influential sector in American life.

Exploring American higher education from its founding in the seventeenth century to its struggle to innovate and adapt in the first decades of the twenty-first century, Thelin demonstrates that the experience of going to college has been…

The definitive history of American higher education—now up to date.

Colleges and universities are among the most cherished—and controversial—institutions in the United States. In this updated edition of A History of American Higher Education, John R. Thelin offers welcome perspective on the triumphs and crises of this highly influential sector in American life.

Exploring American higher education from its founding in the seventeenth century to its struggle to innovate and adapt in the first decades of the twenty-first century, Thelin demonstrates that the experience of going to college has been central to American life for generations of students and their families. Drawing from archival research, along with the pioneering scholarship of leading historians, Thelin raises profound questions about what colleges are—and what they should be.

Covering issues of social class, race, gender, and ethnicity in each era and chapter, this new edition showcases a fresh concluding chapter that focuses on both the opportunities and problems American higher education has faced since 2010. The essay on sources has been revised to incorporate books and articles published over the past decade. The book also updates the discussion of perennial hot-button issues such as big-time sports programs, online learning, the debt crisis, the adjunct crisis, and the return of the culture wars and addresses current areas of contention, including the changing role of governing boards and the financial challenges posed by the economic downturn.

Anyone studying the history of this institution in America must read Thelin's classic text, which has distinguished itself as the most wide-ranging and engaging account of the origins and evolution of America's institutions of higher learning.

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A History of American Higher Education

John R. Thelin

third edition
Publication Date
Binding Type
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Reviews

Reviews

Required reading for anyone who wants to offer any utterance, no matter how small, about where higher ed might be going.

I do believe that the book is worthy of being the major new overview of US higher education.

A readable and concise introduction to this subject, it propels audience members to develop an appreciation for the heterogeneous... academe story as a whole.

Apart from being first-rate historical interpretation, Thelin's book offers several advantages that should make it attractive to the general reader as well as the scholar... His writing is brisk, concise, and humorous... Part public policy analyst and part social historian, Mr. Thelin weaves a tight narrative that keeps moving. He gives you the view from the administrative building, and he also tells you, often with accompanying photos, what students were like.

Extremely well written and meticulously documented.

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About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
6
x
9
Pages
560
ISBN
9781421428833
Illustration Description
13 b&w photos
Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
Introduction: Historians and Higher Education
1. Colleges in the Colonial Era
2. Creating the "American Way" in Higher Education: College-Building, 1785 to 1860
3. Diversity and

Preface
Acknowledgments
Introduction: Historians and Higher Education
1. Colleges in the Colonial Era
2. Creating the "American Way" in Higher Education: College-Building, 1785 to 1860
3. Diversity and Adversity: Resilience in American Higher Education, 1860 to 1890
4. Captains of Industry and Erudition: University-Builders, 1880 to 1910
5. Alma Mater: America Goes to College, 1890 to 1920
6. Success and Excess: Expansion and Reforms in Higher Education, 1920 to 1945
7. Gilt by Association: Higher Education's "Golden Age," 1945 to 1970
8. Coming of Age in America: Higher Education as a Troubled Giant, 1970 to 2000
9. A New Life Begins? Reconfiguring American Higher Education in the Twenty-first Century
10. Prominence and Problems: American Higher Education since 2010
Notes
Essay on Sources
Index

Author Bio
John R. Thelin
Featured Contributor

John R. Thelin

John R. Thelin is University Research Professor and a member of the Educational Policy Studies Department at the University of Kentucky. His many books include A History of American Higher Education and Games Colleges Play: Scandal and Reform in Intercollegiate Athletics, both published by Johns Hopkins.