The Education of John Dewey: A Biography

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Columbia University Press, 2002 - Biography & Autobiography - 562 pages
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During John Dewey's lifetime (1859-1952), one public opinion poll after another revealed that he was esteemed to be one of the ten most important thinkers in American history. His body of thought, conventionally identified by the shorthand word "Pragmatism," has been the distinctive American philosophy of the last fifty years. His work on education is famous worldwide and is still influential today, anticipating as it did the ascendance in contemporary American pedagogy of multiculturalism and independent thinking. His University of Chicago Laboratory School (founded in 1896) thrives still and is a model for schools worldwide, especially in emerging democracies. But how was this lifetime of thought enmeshed in Dewey's emotional experience, in his joys and sorrows as son and brother, husband and father, and in his political activism and spirituality? Acclaimed biographer Jay Martin recaptures the unity of Dewey's life and work, tracing important themes through the philosopher's childhood years, family history, religious experience, and influential friendships.

Based on original sources, notably the vast collection of unpublished papers in the Center for Dewey Studies, this book tells the full story, for the first time, of the life and times of the eminent American philosopher, pragmatist, education reformer, and man of letters. In particular, The Education of John Dewey highlights the importance of the women in Dewey's life, especially his mother, wife, and daughters, but also others, including the reformer Jane Addams and the novelist Anzia Yezierska. A fitting tribute to a master thinker, Martin has rendered a tour de force portrait of a philosopher and social activist in full, seamlessly reintegrating Dewey's thought into both his personal life and the broader historical themes of his time.

  

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The education of John Dewey: a biography

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Appearing on the 50th anniversary of Dewey's death, this biography bears an appropriate title, nicely playing on Dewey's being known as the premier education reformer in American history. Of course ... Read full review

Review: The Education of John Dewey: A Biography

User Review  - Matt - Goodreads

Finally finished this monumental tome. Overall, a fantastic read. Martin does a good job of uncovering the exciting and touching moments of Dewey's life. The psychoanalyzing gets toned down as you get ... Read full review

Contents

Childhood
5
The Christian Influence
19
The Beginning of John Deweys Education
25
A Career in Teaching?
46
A Career in Philosophy?
58
Deweys Philosophic Influences
68
Becoming a Philosopher
74
Finding Both a Philosophic Niche and a Job
80
Alexanders Influence on Dewey
285
A Philadelphia Story
287
Deweys Interest in Poland
293
Engagement
301
Alices Depression
306
On to Japan
310
China and New Culture
314
No League and No War
327

Dewey in Love
91
Deweys Philosophy Expands
99
Deweys Reputation Builds
108
Fred Dewey
111
To Minnesota and Back to Michigan
117
Writing About Ethics
120
A Utopian Deception
124
Family Life
132
Harper and the University of Chicago
137
Experience
145
Wealth and Poverty
149
Evelyn Dewey
154
Another Kind of Education
158
Morris Dewey
179
Overworking at the University of Chicago
183
More Publications
186
Progressive Education
199
The Lab School
203
Resignation
210
Lucy Dewey
215
Jane Dewey
218
Columbia Comes to the Rescue
223
Back to Europe
228
Starting Over
231
The Gorky Affair
238
Five Arcs of Activities
242
More Publications
250
Deweys Teaching Style
258
War
263
New Restrictions
269
The Aftermath
275
The Polish Project
278
Sabino Dewey
330
Idealism Corrupted
333
Now to Turkey
335
Then to Mexico
341
Losing Alice
344
Dewey Among the Soviets
350
Three More Books
358
The Gifford Lectures
362
Enjoying Life Again
368
Dewey Turns Seventy
371
The Stock Market Crash and Its Aftermath
376
Deweys Political Philosophy
387
Deweys Interest in the Arts
398
The Last Educational Mission
406
Leon Trotsky
407
Deweys Logic
424
Dewey and Valuation
431
Deweys Eightieth Birthday Celebration
434
Education and Freedom
439
Bertrand Russell
442
More Controversies
449
Further Views on Education
459
After the War
464
John and Roberta
467
The Last Birthday Celebration
475
The End
478
Last Words
488
Acknowledgments
505
Notes
511
Index
539
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About the author (2002)

Jay Martin has written and edited twenty-one books, including authoritative biographies of Nathanael West, Henry Miller and Conrad Aiken; the standard history of American literature 1865-1914; a key psychoanalytic work on "fictive personality"; and autobiographical novels about the U.S.S.R. and the time he spent as a Buddhist monk in China. Formerly Leo S. Bing Professor of English at the University of Southern California, he is currently Edward S. Gould Professor of Humanities, former director of the Gould Center for Humanistic Studies of the Modern World, professor of government, and founder of the Questions of Civilization Program at Claremont McKenna College. He lives in Claremont, CA.

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