The History of American Higher Education: Learning and Culture from the Founding to World War II

Princeton Univ. Dec. 2014. 584p. notes. index. ISBN 9780691149394. $35; ebk. ISBN 9781400852055. ED
Geiger (Distinguished Professor of Education, Pennsylvania State Univ.; coauthor, Tapping the Riches of Science) delivers a dense but readable book that traces the history of higher education in the United States. With more than 30 years of experience researching, writing, and teaching about the history of the institution, the author is arguably the most qualified to take up this wide-ranging and complicated subject. In 50 sections over 12 chapters, he covers the development and survival of American higher education from its founding in the 1630s through the upheavals of the Revolution and the Second Great Awakening of the early 1800s to its expansion to mass higher education in the early 1900s, ending with the start of World War II. At this point, the foundations that would support the economic expansion of the postwar years were already laid.
VERDICT Geiger has successfully written about a major part of the history of higher education in the United States. This book will be of interest to both scholars and general readers interested in the subject.

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