Begin Here: The Forgotten Conditions of Teaching and Learning

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University of Chicago Press, 1992 - Education - 222 pages
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In this powerful, eloquent, and timely book, Jacques Barzun offers guidance for resolving the crisis in America's schools and colleges. Drawing on a lifetime of distinguished teaching, he issues a clear call to action for improving what goes on in America's classrooms. The result is an extraordinarily fresh, sensible, and practical program for better schools.

"It is difficult to imagine a more pungent, perceptive or eloquent commentary on contemporary American education than this collection of 15 pieces by Jacques Barzun."-- Jonathan Yardley, "Washington Post Book World"

"Mr. Barzun's style is elegant, distinctive, philosophically consistent and much better-humored than that of many contemporary invective-hurlers."--David Alexander, "New York Times Book Review" Jacques Barzun is University Professor Emeritus at Columbia University and the author of many books including the classic "Teacher in America" and "The American University."

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Review: Begin Here: The Forgotten Conditions of Teaching and Learning

User Review  - Steve - Goodreads

This is a selection of 15 of Barzun's pieces on education. barzun crashes through the sepulchre of modern educational pieties, over turning the tables and driving out the money-changers as he goes ... Read full review

About the author (1992)

Jacques Barzun was born in Créteil, France on November 30, 1907. He came to the United States in 1920 and graduated magna cum laude from Columbia University in 1927. Following graduation, he joined Columbia's faculty as an instructor while continuing his studies in graduate school there, receiving a master's degree in 1928 and a doctorate in French history in 1932. He became a full professor in 1945, was dean of graduate faculties from 1955 to 1958, and dean of faculties from 1958 to 1967. He retired from Columbia University in 1975. He was a historian and cultural critic. The core of his work was the importance of studying history to understand the present and a fundamental respect for intellect. Although he wrote on subjects as diverse as detective fiction and baseball, he was especially known for his many books on music, nineteenth-century romanticism and education. His works include Darwin, Marx and Wagner: Critique of a Heritage; Romanticism and the Modern Ego; The House of Intellect; Race: A Study in Superstition; Simple and Direct: A Rhetoric for Writers; A Stroll with William James; The Culture We Deserve; and From Dawn to Decadence. He died on October 25, 2012 at the age of 104.

Morris Philipson (1926-2011) was the director of the University of Chicago Press from 1967 to 2000 and the author of five novels and several scholarly books. Born in New Haven, Connecticut, he received a B.A. and M.A. from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. in philosophy from Columbia University. He worked at Random House, Pantheon Books, Alfred A. Knopf, and Basic Books before becoming director at Chicago. Philipson took on ambitious scholarly projects, among the largest of which was "The Lisle Letters", a six-volume work that the "New York Times" called "one of the most extraordinary historical works in the century" and that won the Carey-Thomas Award for creative publishing in 1981. In 1982, Philipson received the PEN American Center's Publisher Citation. For his efforts to bring the work of French writers to English readers, in 1984 the French Ministry of Culture awarded him the Commandeur de L'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. He also received the Association of American Publishers' Curtis Benjamin Award for Creative Publishing, an award given to those whose "creativity and leadership have left a lasting mark on American publishing.

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