Education for Empire: American Schools, Race, and the Paths of Good Citizenship Review by Manuela A. Gomez [Book Review]

Inter-American Journal of Philosophy 11 (2):68-73 (2020)
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Abstract

Education for Empire: American Schools, Race, and the Paths of Good Citizenship (Stratton, 2016) is much more than a history book about American education. It is a critical work that provides philosophical undertones that challenge our perception about the imperial roles of the U.S. school system. Stratton very clearly and meticulously presents the intricate relationship between history, civics, and geography within school curricula and textbooks. He shows us how these subjects have been manipulated by those in power to promote a hidden agenda. One that instills national pride, American loyalty, and patriotism, and is designed to turn students into supporters of U.S. imperialism and of their racial and class hierarchies. An example of this is Stratton’s own examination of the content of books like, Complete Geography written in 1899. Stratton claims this text was widely used in American public schools and it explicitly states that, “the Caucasian or white race is most intelligent and most powerful of all races.” Education for Empire: American Schools, Race, and the Paths of Good Citizenship helps us understand why it has taken so much time for people of color, like me, to occupy academic spaces and to begin the dismantling of oppressive governmental and pedagogical systems that have intentionally kept us from having a dignified education.

Author's Profile

Manuela Alejandra Gomez
El Paso Community College

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