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New Books in Education

Author: Marshall Poe

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Interviews with Scholars of Education about their New Books

259 Episodes
In this episode of Talking Legal History, Siobhan talks with William P. Hustwit about his book Integration Now: Alexander v. Holmes and the End of Jim Crow Education (UNC Press, 2019). Hustwit is the Associate Professor of History and Chair of the History Department at Birmingham-Southern College. Fifty years after the Supreme Court decision, Integration Now explores how studying the case Alexander v. Holmes (1969) enhances understandings of the history underlying school desegregation. This episode is part of a series featuring legal history works from UNC Press.Recovering the history of an often-ignored landmark Supreme Court case, William P. Hustwit assesses the significant role that Alexander v. Holmes (1969) played in integrating the South’s public schools. Although Brown v. Board of Education has rightly received the lion’s share of historical analysis, its ambiguous language for implementation led to more than a decade of delays and resistance by local and state governments. Alexander v. Holmes required “integration now,” and less than a year later, thousands of children were attending integrated schools.Hustwit traces the progression of the Alexander case to show how grassroots activists in Mississippi operated hand in glove with lawyers and judges involved in the litigation. By combining a narrative of the larger legal battle surrounding the case and the story of the local activists who pressed for change, Hustwit offers an innovative, well-researched account of a definitive legal decision that reaches from the cotton fields of Holmes County to the chambers of the Supreme Court in Washington.Support for the production of this series was provided by the Versatile Humanists at Duke program.Siobhan M. M. Barco, J.D. explores U.S. legal history at Duke University.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
As you may know, university presses publish a lot of good books. In fact, they publish thousands of them every year. They are different from most trade books in that most of them are what you might called "fundamental research." Their authors--dedicated researchers one and all--provide the scholarly stuff upon which many non-fiction trade books are based. So when you are reading, say, a popular history, you are often reading UP books at one remove. Of course, some UP books are also bestsellers, and they are all well written (and, I should say, thoroughly vetted thanks to the peer review system), but the greatest contribution of UPs is to provide a base of fundamental research to the public. And they do a great job of it.How do they do it? Today I talked to Kathryn Conrad, the president of the Association of University Presses, about the work of UPs, the challenges they face, and some terrific new directions they are going. We also talked about why, if you have a scholarly book in progress, you should talk to UP editors early and often. And she explains how! Listen in.Marshall Poe is the editor of the New Books Network. He can be reached at more about your ad choices. Visit
Professor Jay Driskell of Hood College, author of Schooling Jim Crow: The Fight for Atlanta's Booker T. Washington High School and the Roots of Black Protest Politics (University of Virginia Press, 2014), traces the roots of black protest politics to early 20th century Atlanta and the fight for equal education.In 1919 the NAACP organized a voting bloc powerful enough to compel the city of Atlanta to budget $1.5 million for the construction of schools for black students. This victory would have been remarkable in any era, but in the context of the Jim Crow South it was revolutionary. Schooling Jim Crow tells the story of this little-known campaign, which happened less than thirteen years after the Atlanta race riot of 1906 and just weeks before a wave of anti-black violence swept the nation in the summer after the end of World War I. Despite the constant threat of violence, Atlanta’s black voters were able to force the city to build five black grammar schools and Booker T. Washington High School, the city’s first publicly funded black high school. Schooling Jim Crow reveals how they did it and why it matters.In this pathbreaking book, Driskell explores the changes in black political consciousness that made the NAACP’s grassroots campaign possible at a time when most black southerners could not vote, let alone demand schools. He reveals how black Atlantans transformed a reactionary politics of respectability into a militant force for change. Contributing to this militancy were understandings of class and gender transformed by decades of racially segregated urban development, the 1906 Atlanta race riot, Georgia’s disfranchisement campaign of 1908, and the upheavals of World War I. On this cultural foundation, black Atlantans built a new urban black politics that would become the model for the NAACP’s political strategy well into the twentieth century.Beth A. English is director of the Liechtenstein Institute's Project on Gender in the Global Community at Princeton University. She also is a past president of the Southern Labor History Association.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
We say on this show all the time that democracy is hard work. But what does that really mean? What it is about our dispositions that makes it so hard to see eye to eye and come together for the greater good? And why, despite all that, do we feel compelled to do it anyway? Jonathan Haidt is the perfect person to help us unpack those questions.We also explore what we can do now to educate the next generation of democratic citizens, based on the research Jonathan and co-author Greg Lukianoff did for their latest book The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas are Setting Up a Generation for Failure (Penguin, 2018).Jonathan is social psychologist at New York University’s Stern School of Business. His research examines the intuitive foundations of morality, and how morality varies across cultures––including the cultures of American progressive, conservatives, and libertarians.Democracy Works is created by the McCourtney Institute for Democracy at Penn State and recorded at WPSU Penn State, central Pennsylvania’s NPR station.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Anthony Kronman, former dean of Yale Law School, has written an account of his view of the decline of the American university from a bastion of free inquiry and an arena for the pursuit of excellence to become a vocational training school and mere reflection of the wider society. In The Assault on American Excellence (Free Press, 2019), Professor Kronman contends that this is a failure by faculty and administrators to provide students with the intellectual and moral challenges they need in order become a fully-formed human being. He reviews recent controversies happening at his school, Yale University, such as the debate over the name of Calhoun College and student and faculty objections to the use of the term “master” to describe the faculty head of a residential college. Kronman’s book is his response to what he sees as a crisis in higher education and an argument in favor of encouraging students, faculty, administrators and members of the general public to viewing college as a unique opportunity to pursue excellence in all its forms.Ian J. Drake is an Associate Professor of Political Science and Law at Montclair State University. His scholarly interests include American legal and constitutional history and political theory.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
The things that make people academics -- as deep fascination with some arcane subject, often bordering on obsession, and a comfort with the solitude that developing expertise requires -- do not necessarily make us good teachers. Jessamyn Neuhaus’s Geeky Pedagogy: A Guide for Intellectuals, Introverts, and Nerds Who Want to Be Effective Teachers (West Virginia University Press, 2019) helps us to identify and embrace that geekiness in us and then offers practical, step-by-step guidelines for how to turn it to effective pedagogy. It’s a sharp, slim, and entertaining volume that can make better teachers of us all.Stephen Pimpare is Senior Lecturer in the Politics & Society Program and Faculty Fellow at the Carsey School of Public Policy at the University of New Hampshire. He is the author of The New Victorians (New Press, 2004), A Peoples History of Poverty in America (New Press, 2008), winner of the Michael Harrington Award, and Ghettos, Tramps and Welfare Queens: Down and Out on the Silver Screen (Oxford, 2017).Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
The institutional history of mathematics in the United States comprises several entangled traditions—military, civil, academic, industrial—each of which merits its own treatment. David Lindsay Roberts, adjunct professor of mathematics at Prince George's Community College, takes a very different approach. His unique book, Republic of Numbers: Unexpected Stories of Mathematical Americans through History(Johns Hopkins University Press, 2019), anchors 20 biographical chapters to a decadal series of events, whose mathematical significance could not often have been anticipated. These short biographies range from the inauguration of military and civil engineering (Sylvanus Thayer) and the textbook industry (Catharine Beecher and Joseph Ray) to the influence of geopolitics during and after the Cold War (Joaquin Basilio Diaz, John F. Nash Jr.), and over the course of the book the subjects witness the professionalization of the research community (Charles H. Davis), radical expansions of educational access (Kelly Miller, Edgar L. Edwards Jr.), and contentious, transgenerational debates over curriculum design (Izaak Wirzsup, Frank B. Allen), among many other themes. Through their professional and institutional connections, the subjects of the chapters form a connected component, providing intriguing narrative hooks across time, geography, and status while evidencing the tightly bound community of American mathematics scholarship. The book can be read as professional history or as a collection of biographical essays, and i expect it to become a charming entry point for mathematical, historical, or not-yet-hooked readers into the forces that have shaped the discipline.Suggested companion work: David E. Zitarelli, A History of Mathematics in the United States and Canada: Volume 1: 1492–1900.Cory Brunson (he/him) is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for Quantitative Medicine at UConn Health.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Elena Jackson Albarrán’s book Seen and Heard in Mexico: Children and Revolutionary Cultural Nationalism (University of Nebraska Press, 2014) explores the changing politics of childhood during the period 1920-1940, in the wake of the Mexican Revolution. That conflict, a civil war which brought down an authoritarian regime, came with new political ideas about social justice that would elevate workers and peasants as quintessential revolutionary citizens. In the context of state formation and nation-building efforts, children became a key target population for revolutionary government programs to forge future citizens. Though interest in childrearing and health had been growing since the nineteenth century, in the 1920s and 1930s, the new state invested in children as never before and paid careful attention to the opinions of the nation’s youngest generation. The chapters examine state programs for art education, radio, and puppet theater as well as youth’s highly publicized incursion into civic life as spokespeople and representatives, both nationally and internationally. Drawing from an unusually-rich body of sources that attest to the importance ascribed to children in this era, Albarrán emphasizes how children received cultural messages and political ideas handed down by adults and found ways to make revolutionary scripts their own. The author notes that programming for children did not offer a universal vision of the Mexican child: rather, state officials crafted different opportunities for urban and rural populations, and some forms of participation were accessible only to children with a certain level of resources. Children pointed out these inequities, negotiating for the more inclusive horizon of opportunities that revolutionary tenets seemed to promise. Thus, Albarrán shows that children contributed to the contentious construction of ideas about the Mexican nation as critical interlocutors and as active citizens.Rachel Grace Newman is Lecturer in the History of the Global South at Smith College. She has a Ph.D. in History from Columbia University, and she writes about inequality, privilege, transnationalism, and youth in twentieth-century Mexico. She is also the author of a book on a binational program for migrant children whose families divided their time between Michoacán, Mexico and Watsonville, California. She is on Twitter (@rachelgnew).Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Most test prep books, textbooks, and classes miss the mark by only focusing on strategy and content. This essential guide tackles the other half of test prep: mindfulness and your mental performance.Mindfulness is widely embraced in the business and athletic communities as a valuable technique to optimize performance. Author Logan Thompson, an expert in both test prep and mindfulness, says that it's about time the test prep community embraces it as well.In his book, Beyond the Content: Mindfulness as a Test Prep Advantage (Kaplan Publishing, 2019) Logan Thompson explains, "The other half of test prep is the world of fleeting thoughts and emotions, always flickering, always murmuring inside your head, usually going unnoticed and unremarked upon. They shape our perceptions and perspectives. And, they dictate our performance on tests. The other half of test prep is happening all the time, whether we like it or not. Your mental and emotional state, your surfacing memories, your underlying beliefs are always there. The good news is that, by acknowledging the other half of test prep, exploring it, and working with it, you can gain access to your full potential."Elizabeth Cronin, Psy.D., is a licensed clinical psychologist and mindfulness meditation teacher with offices in Brookline and Norwood, MA.  You can follow her on Instagram or visit her website at Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
In her new book, Teaching Migrant Children in West Germany and Europe, 1945-1992 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019), Brittany Lehman examines the right to education for migrant children in Europe between 1949 and 1992. Using West Germany as a case study to explore European trends, the book analyzes how the Council of Europe and European Community’s ideological goals were implemented for specific national groups. The book starts with education for displaced persons and exiles in the 1950s. Then it compares schooling for Italian, Greek, and Turkish labor migrants. Finally, the monograph circles back to asylum seekers and returning ethnic Germans. For each group, the state entries involved tried to balance equal education opportunities with the right to personhood, an effort which became particularly convoluted due to implicit biases. When the European Union was founded in 1993, children’s access to education depended on a complicated mix of legal status and perception of cultural compatibility. Despite claims that all children should have equal opportunities, children’s access was limited by citizenship and ethnic identity.Michael E. O’Sullivan is Professor of History at Marist College where he teaches courses about Modern Europe. He published Disruptive Power: Catholic Women, Miracles, and Politics in Modern Germany, 1918-1965 with University of Toronto Press in 2018.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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