WISDOM'S WORKSHOP: The Rise of the Modern University

Book number: 92436 Product format: Hardback Author: JAMES AXTELL

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A rich exploration of the historical lineage of today's research universities which explains the reasons for their ascendancy in America and their continued international pre-eminence. When universities began in the Middle Ages, Pope Gregory IX described them as 'wisdom's special workshop' although he could not have foreseen how far these institutions would travel and develop. Tracing the 800 year evolution of the elite research university from its roots in medieval Europe to its remarkable incarnation today, this special book places the durable institution in sweeping historical perspective. In particular James Axtell focusses on the ways that the best American universities took on Continental influences from the late 19th century onwards. They proliferated from coast to coast, and their national role expanded greatly during World War Two and the Cold War. Axtell links the legacies of European universities and the Tudor-Stuart Oxbridge to nine colonial and hundreds of pre-Civil War colleges, and delves into how US universities were shaped by Americans who studied in German universities and adopted their discoveries to domestic conditions and goals. The graduate school, the PhD, and the research imperative became and remain the hallmarks of the university system and higher education institutions around the globe. The author writes in his prologue 'I had begun my scholarly publishing career at Yale in the history of education... where I taught an introductory seminar on the subject for two years. My first two books were on the one-time Oxford don John Locke's Educational Career and Writings (1968) and on the full range of education in colonial New England... Then, after the 100th anniversary of the massacre at Wounded Knee... I was drawn to the ethno-history of Indian-European relations in the colonial Americas which resulted in eight books.' Learn so much more than about the nation's Harvards. Princetons and Stanfords but about what energises and sustains research universities in the high-stakes 'brain race'. 417pp.

Additional product information

Product Format Hardback
ISBN 9780691149592
Published Price £30

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