In this expanded edition of his 2002 book, Zimmerman surveys how battles over public education have become conflicts at the heart of American national identity.
As the headlines remind us, American public education is still wracked by culture wars. But these conflicts have shifted sharply over the past two decades, marking larger changes in the ways that Americans imagine themselves. In his 2002 book, Whose America?, Zimmerman predicted that religious differences would continue to dominate the culture wars. Twenty years after that seminal work, Zimmerman has reconsidered: arguments over what American history is, what it means, and how it is taught have exploded with special force in recent years. In this substantially expanded new edition, Zimmerman meditates on the history of the culture wars in the classroom—and on what our inability to find common ground might mean for our future.
About the author
Jonathan Zimmerman is Professor of History of Education and the Judy and Howard Berkowitz Professor in Education at the University of Pennsylvania. His books examine schools and universities across space and time, focusing especially on the ways they have addressed sex, religion, free speech and other controversial topics. They are Small Wonder: The Little Red Schoolhouse in History and Memory , and Innocents Abroad: Teachers in the American Century (including Peace Corps Volunteers) .
A former Peace Corps Volunteer (Nepal 1983-85) and high school social studies teacher, Zimmerman is also a frequent contributor to the New York Times, the Washington Post, and other popular newspapers and magazines. Zimmerman taught for 20 years at New York University, where he received the university’s Distinguished Teaching Award in 2008.