"William J. Reese's engrossing narrative succinctly and shrewdly analyzes nearly two centuries of American public schools, taking us from the pioneering efforts in the early nineteenth century through the political and cultural conflicts of today."
"This book provides a comprehensive review of scholarship in the history of American education during the period since the revisionists turned the field upside down in the 1960s and 70s. Its able authors display the rich diversity of issues and approaches that have characterized the field in the last 30 years." -- David F. Labaree, Professor of Education, Stanford University
"In his latest investigation of how history helps illuminate contemporary concerns about the nature and character of America‚Äôs schools, William Reese explores the rise of public schools in the nineteenth century, the evolution of private school alternatives, and ongoing debates about modern schooling and reform. Americans have long invested considerable time, energy, and emotion in their schools, both private and public, and Reese's historical overview helps explain why."