The Lost Soul of Higher Education

The Lost Soul of Higher Education: Academic Freedom, Corporatization, and the Assault on the University

September 14, 2010

A sharp riposte to the conservative critics of the academy by the leading historian of the McCarthy-era witch hunts, The Lost Soul of Higher Education, reveals a system in peril—and defends the vital role of higher education in our democracy. Since the 1960s outside pressure groups have been waging a massive campaign against the university – not only attacking it as riddled with leftists, but also challenging the legitimacy of its research and scholarship. 
 
At the same time, Schrecker shows how the defunding of public higher education and the encroachment of private-sector influence deform the academy. From the dwindling numbers of full-time faculty to the collapse of library budgets, The Lost Soul of Higher Education depicts a system increasingly beholden to corporate America and starved of the resources it needs to educate the new generation of citizens.

Reviews

“A bracing and well-informed analysis of the growing influence of market forces on our universities. The dangers are real and immediate, and they jeopardize institutions that should be a source of national pride.”

― Frances Fox Piven, professor of political science and sociology at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and author of Challenging Authority: How Ordinary People Change America

As a historian, Schrecker’s knowledge of the threats launched against basic principles of academic life is unmatched. An indispensable guide to the higher education landscape.”

― Andrew Ross, Professor of American Studies, Department of Social and Cultural Analysis, New York University

“The Lost Soul of Higher Education reminds us that academic freedom, like all our essential liberties, is not to be taken for granted. This is a wake-up call to resume our vigilance and activism.”

― Stanley N. Katz, director of the Center for Arts and Cultural Policy Studies, Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University

“In an informative and thoughtful book, Schrecker warns of an impending loss of the values and historic purposes of the American university. At once a grim forecast and a rallying cry to all those who consider universities to be critical for the survival of democracy.”

― Joan W. Scott, Harold F. Linder Professor at the School of Social Science in the Institute for Advanced Study