The philosopher-educator John Dewey wrote that "Democracy has to be born anew every generation, and education is its midwife." In an America where every vote--though considered equally--counts for very little, Democracy's Midwife offers the vision of a new kind of democratic system: a deliberative democracy energized by an educated citizenry. Jack Crittenden's excellent new study looks behind the modern democratic rhetoric to reveal a system of government that excludes citizens from participating directly in decision-making. The book combines a thorough examination of the theoretical underpinnings of democratic education with radical solutions for the overhaul of a system of civic education dating back to the Founding Fathers. Democracy's Midwife is both a denunciation of an education system that has failed to prepare future citizens for participation in public life and a timely blueprint for the creation of a civic-minded electorate prepared for the responsibility of self-government.
Educators and policymakers who care about the state of our democracy should read this book. -- Alexander W. Astin, Allan M. Cartter Professor Emeritus at the University of California, Los Angeles and Founding Director of the Higher Education R
Crittenden offers a lively, readable, and persuasive defence of democratic deliberation as a competence to be taught in schools, as a model of direct participation, and as a core ideal for liberal democracy -- Simone Chambers
Crittenden presents an insightful critique of the role of the state and the citizenry in promoting and preserving a system of popular rule. * CHOICE *
Three topics of compelling interest among democratic theorists in recent years have been the role and locus of deliberation in public decisionmaking, the nature and imperatives of personal autonomy, and the tasks of civic education. In Democracy's Midwife Jack Crittenden weaves these several concerns into a provocative argument with significant policy dimensions that should greatly interest political theorists and educators alike. -- Thomas A. Spragens, Jr., Professor of political science, Duke University