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Red Alert!

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About the Author

The Author: Stuart J. Foster is Assistant Professor in the Department of Social Science Education at the University of Georgia. He received his Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from The University of Texas at Austin. He is widely published on the teaching and learning of history in public schools and on the history of education.


Stuart J. Foster's 'Red Alert!' is an exhaustively researched, well-written, and thoughtful analysis of the impact of the post-World War II red scare on public education. His focus on the activities of the National Education Association and its reaction to the anti-communist hysteria as it raged through the halls of American education fills a major gap in the historiography of the era. (Don E. Carleton, Director, Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin) Since their creation in the nineteenth century, America's public schools have been a cultural battleground where contending political interests have tried to define and promote their vision of an ideal nation. The schools thus provide a unique window onto the larger society, and Stuart J. Foster shows that this was especially true after World War II. 'Red Alert!' masterfully recounts the plight of public school teachers and administrators in the early years of the Cold War, when anti-communism revived and infused American culture, making defense of the accused difficult and sometimes fruitless. Foster persuasively documents how anti-communist hysteria led to an assault on free speech, democracy, and plain decency in many of the nation's schools. And he eloquently shows that the place of teachers and schools in American society has always been ambiguous and contested. (William J. Reese, Professor of Educational Policy Studies & of History, University of Wisconsin-Madison)

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