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Education in the Forming of American Society

Bernard Bailyn

Copyright 1960
University of North Carolina Press

In a pungent revision of the professional educator's school of history, Bailyn traces the cultural context of education in early American society and the evolution of educational standards in the colonies. His analysis ranges beyond formal education to encompass such vital social determinants as the family, apprenticeship, and organized religion.

Originally published in 1960.

A UNC Press Enduring Edition—UNC Press Enduring Editions use the latest in digital technology to make available again books from our distinguished backlist that were previously out of print. These editions are published unaltered from the original, and are presented in affordable paperback formats, bringing readers both historical and cultural value.

About the Author

Bernard Bailyn, Adams University Professor at Harvard University, is author of numerous books, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning Voyagers to the West: A Passage in the Peopling of America on the Eve of the Revolution.


Certainly anyone interested in contemporary education, narrowly or broadly defined, or anyone concerned with its development or with any other aspect of American history should read and take to heart the analysis, criticism, and suggestions in Education in the Forming of American Society.

--Merle Curti

What Bailyn has to say should not be missed by any student of American history who regards himself as more than a narrow specialist.

--Frederick D. Vershner

. . . [Bailyn’s] hypotheses are original and imaginative, and point to a vast and hitherto inadequately explored literature. Hopefully, they will prove sufficiently provocative to set in motion the kind of informed historical scholarship that to date has been all too rare in the field of American education.

--Lawrence A. Cremin