What It Was, Is, and Should Be.
By Andrew Delbanco.
Princeton Univ. Press. 229 pp. $24.95
The crisis in American education—prenatal to postdoctoral—may be the nation’s longest-running soap opera. It’s hard to remember a time when there wasn’t hand-wringing about what was going on at one educational level or another. An acronymed army of councils and commissions and such thrives on stoking our unease and risks anaesthetizing our attention. How bracing, then, to hear a single voice as literate and reasonable as Andrew Delbanco’s. His message in College: What It Was, Is, and Should Be may be little more encouraging in the end than that of the furrow-browed alarmists, but it’s delivered with the high civility and spacious reach of the educational ideal he ardently defends.
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James Morris is an editor at large of The Wilson Quarterly.more from this author >>