Has American higher education become a dinosaur? Why do professors all tend to think alike? What makes it so hard for colleges to decide which subjects should be required? Why do teachers and scholars find it so difficult to transcend the limits of their disciplines? Why, in short, are problems that should be easy for universities to solve so intractable?
The answer, Louis Menand argues, is that the institutional structure and the educational philosophy of higher education have remained the same for 100 years, while faculties and student bodies have radically changed and technology has drastically transformed the way people produce and disseminate knowledge.
Sparking a long-overdue debate about the future of American education, The Marketplace of Ideas examines what professors and students - and all the rest of us - might be better off without while assessing what is worth saving in our traditional university institutions.
©2009 Louis Menand (P)2010 Tantor
"Part history of higher education, part sympathetic but insistent argument for change, Menand's book is a worthy and admirably succinct exploration of why colleges are so difficult to improve." (The Washington Monthly)
The author has chosen an engaging topic but has managed to transform it into a dull lecture. He writes in the academic style of a dissertation, and the narrator compounds the pain with his monotone delivery.
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