Praise for The Teacher Wars

meticulously fair and disarmingly balanced…The book skips nimbly from history to on-the-ground reporting to policy prescription, never falling on its face. If I were still teaching, I’d leave my tattered copy by the sputtering Xerox machine. I’d also recommend it to the average citizen who wants to know why Robert can’t read, and Allison can’t add.”
New York Times, Alexander Nazaryan

“lively…brings nuance…One of the incidental pleasures of this book is discovering how many historic figures better known for other achievements logged time in the front of a classroom.”
New York Times Book Review, Claudia Wallis

“[an] engaging history…Goldstein ably sketches reformers past and present, asserting that the common force behind each new wave of school reforms is evangelical conviction, and that new movements often seem based more on faith than on factual evidence. Thorough and fair-minded…her ability to illuminate each new wave’s ‘hype-disillusionment cycle’ is a welcome treatment of a fraught subject.”
The New Yorker

“[An] immersive and well-researched history … Attacking a veritable hydra of issues, Goldstein does an admirable job, all while remaining optimistic about the future of this vital profession.”
Publishers Weekly

“smart and valuable”
The New Republic, Richard Kahlenberg

“engaging…careful historical analysis reveals certain lessons useful to anyone shaping policy, from principals to legislators…Goldstein’s thorough and nuanced book shows that teachers can have extraordinary impacts.”
San Francisco Chronicle, Nick Romeo

“A sweeping, insightful look at how public education and the teaching profession have evolved and where we may be headed.”
Booklist, starred review

“impressive”
New York Review of Books, Jonathan Zimmerman

“useful…turns in points that ought to condition the discussion…Goldstein delivers a smart, evenhanded source of counterargument.”
Kirkus Reviews

“fascinating…Major parts of the history of education that often get overlooked, such as the fate of black teachers at the dawn of desegregation and the experience of radical teachers under McCarthyism, are portrayed with detail that contextualizes them within the larger contest over schools policy.”
Boston Review, Mike Konczal

“a book that ought to be read by all American teachers, and read twice by anyone who presumes to advise them.”
The Los Angeles Review of Books, Andrew Benedict-Nelson

“excellent”
The Week, Joel Dodge

“offers suggestions for improvement that defy partisan agendas…Goldstein writes with verve.”
Richmond Times Dispatch

“far-reaching…Goldstein, a well-known magazine journalist, brings a reporter’s eye for a good story.”
Education Next, Jal Mehta

“I confess that when I began Goldstein’s book, I feared it would be a pro-union pity plea, but her writerly commitments are to the historical record, and she gives readers a solid and critically detached account.”
The New Inquiry, Malcolm Harris

“I wanted to yell ‘Yes! Yes! Thank you for finally talking sense’ on page after page. Anyone who wants to be a combatant in or commentator on the teacher wars has to read The Teacher Wars.”
Chris Hayes, host of MSNBC’s All In with Chris Hayes and author of Twilight of the Elites: America After Meritocracy

“It’s hard to know what to make of teachers. In the news and in the movies they are sometimes vampires sucking off public goodwill and sometimes saviors of America’s children. In this totally surprising book Dana Goldstein—who has always been Slate’s sharpest writer on education—explains how teachers have always been at the center of controversy. At once poetic and practical, The Teacher Wars will make school seem like the most exciting place on earth.”
Hanna Rosin, author of The End of Men

“Dana Goldstein proves to be as skilled an education historian as she is an astute observer of the contemporary state of the teaching profession. May policy makers take heed.”
Randi Weingarten, President, American Federation of Teachers

“A colorful, immensely readable account that helps make sense of the heated debates around teaching and school reform. The Teacher Wars is the kind of smart, timely narrative that parents, educators, and policy makers have sorely needed.”
Frederick M. Hess, Director of Education Policy Studies at the American Enterprise Institute

“Dana Goldstein is one of the best education writers around. Her history of the teaching profession is that and much more: an investigation into the political forces that can help or hinder student learning.”
Emily Bazelon, author of Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy

“Dana Goldstein has managed the impossible: She’s written a serious education book that’s fresh, insightful, and enjoyable to read.”
Michael Petrilli, President, Thomas B. Fordham Institute

“Teaching has always been a political profession. We all have a dog in this fight. So I can hardly imagine anyone who could not profit from reading this erudite, elegant, and relentlessly sensible book. Listen to Dana Goldstein: ‘We must quiet the teacher wars.’ Reading The Teacher Wars would be a great way to start.”
Rick Perlstein, author of Nixonland

“If more people involved in today’s discussion about education reform read this book, our national conversation about schooling would be deeper and more effective. Buy this book. Read this book. Share it with your friends who care about education. A very important work.”
Peg Tyre, author of The Good School: How Smart Parents Get Their Kids the Education They Deserve

“Why are today’s teachers pictured simultaneously as superheroes and villains? In clear, crisp language, Dana Goldstein answers that question historically by bringing to life key figures and highlighting crucial issues that shaped both teachers and teaching over the past century. Few writers about school reform frame the context in which teachers have acted in the past. Goldstein does exactly that in thoughtfully explaining why battles over teachers have occurred then and now.”
Larry Cuban, Professor Emeritus of Education, Stanford University

“As a teacher, I’ve often had the sense that many of the over-hyped, hastily implemented, and ultimately disappointing ideas that force themselves into our classrooms are reactions to over-hyped, hastily implemented, and ultimately disappointing ideas that came before them. The Teacher Wars explains why this is the case, condensing an immense amount of research into a readable, compelling history of our profession. It explains how we’ve gotten where we are today, and gives hope that in the world of schools, good developments can be possible and bad developments can be temporary.”
Roxanna Elden, National Board Certified Teacher and author of See Me After Class: Advice for Teachers by Teachers