The co-op bookstore for avid readers
Book Cover for: Essential Documents in the History of American Higher Education, John R. Thelin

Essential Documents in the History of American Higher Education

John R. Thelin

The thoroughly updated second edition of this dynamic and thoughtful collection focuses on the issues that have shaped American higher education in the past decade.

Essential Documents in the History of American Higher Education, designed to be used alongside John R. Thelin's A History of American Higher Education or on its own, presents a rich collection of primary sources that chart the social, intellectual, political, and cultural history of American colleges and universities from the seventeenth century to the present. The documents are organized in sections that parallel the chapters in A History both chronologically and thematically, and sections are introduced with brief headnotes establishing the context for each source.

This updated edition of Essential Documents focuses on the issues that have shaped American higher education in the past decade, from congressional investigations into endowments and court cases about paying student-athletes to accounts of campus protests over racial discrimination and adjuncts struggling in the "gig economy." From the successful fund-raising campaigns of 2014 to the closing of campuses because of the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020, the book also includes

- a new tenth chapter, "Prominence and Problems: American Higher Education since 2010," and an updated introduction;
- a number of landmark documents, including the charter for the College of Rhode Island (1764), the Morrill Land Grand Act (1862), the GI Bill (1944), and the Knight Commission Report on College Sports (2010); and
- lively firsthand accounts by students and teachers that tell what it was like to be a Harvard student in the 1700s, to participate in the campus riots of the 1960s, to be a female college athlete in the 1970s, or to enroll at UCLA as an economically disadvantaged Latina in the 1990s.

Thelin even stretches the usual bounds of documentary sources, incorporating popular pieces by Robert Benchley and James Thurber on their own college days as well as an excerpt from Groucho Marx's screwball film Horse Feathers. What emerges is a complex and nuanced collection that reflects the richness of more than three centuries of American higher education.

Book Details

  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Publish Date: Jul 6th, 2021
  • Pages: 440
  • Language: English
  • Edition: - 0002
  • Dimensions: 8.90in - 5.91in - 1.26in - 1.28lb
  • EAN: 9781421441467
  • Categories: Schools - Levels - HigherHistory

About the Author

Thelin, John R.: - John R. Thelin is the University Research Professor Emeritus of the history of higher education and public policy at the University of Kentucky. His numerous books include A History of American Higher Education and Games Colleges Play.
Praise for this book
For those with an interest in higher education, whether a graduate student, a researcher, or a faculty member, this is a fascinating book . . . The work provides a wealth of useful information that will find regular use in academic libraries. It is highly recommended.
--American Reference Books Annual
The primary purpose of this collection is to provide illustrative material for the readers of the textbook, but because of the nature of the documents, the book is of interest in its own right.
John Thelin is the ideal scholar to create this volume of documents, and not only because his careful scholarship in creating A History has given him a depth that few other senior scholars possess. He is also an acute scholar of archival issues, as is apparent in the introduction to this book and in his short introductions to each of the documents. By commenting on the template of questions he employs in reviewing each document, he demonstrates--and teaches his readers--a thoughtful approach to assessing and analyzing documentary materials. His own writing about those archival issues (cited in the new volume) is a testament to his leadership in helping our field assess its status and the issues surrounding documentation.
--Linda Eisenmann, Wheaton College
The history of American higher education has been shaped by a great number and variety of actors and influences, each of which is ably represented and explained in Thelin's compendium Essential Documents. The volume is more than a handy reference guide for the library's or the professor's bookshelf; it is a wonderful teaching tool, employing a wide lens, to help develop those studying and writing about the history of American colleges and universities to gain a more complete understanding of these important institutions.
--Christian K. Anderson, University of South Carolina
John Thelin's taste in making these selections reflects his extraordinary grasp of American higher education.
--Sol Gittleman, Tufts University