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Reviews

"Making Schools American reveals how a multitude of events and practices, some seemingly eclectic (the creation of Arbor Day, school parades) and some more obvious (instituting the Pledge of Allegiance recitation, curricular design) worked together to yoke public education to national interests and identity. It is a stellar first book: creative, novel in its approach, beautifully written and argued. At a time when people are thinking about anti-racist and political education more openly than they have in half a century, Ewert's book offers us new ways of considering the conflicts that are rooted in this conversation."

"Ewert's claims that ideas about nationalism became the leading argument for mass public schooling by the time the United States entered World War I has the potential to make significant contributions to the scholarship in both education history and American political development. Making Schools American adds important nuance to the scholarship by highlighting the distinctiveness of particular state stories while revealing how the goals of schooling became intertwined with a nationalistic rhetoric that had a lasting impact in classrooms."

"Cody Dodge Ewert demonstrates both the power and the limits of early twentieth-century Progressive reformers, who framed education as the key to national development and identity. At a moment of frayed faith in public education, we need to recapture the Progressives' optimistic spirit while focusing new attention on the injustices they overlooked. This smart and original book can show us how."

"In this meticulous study, Cody Dodge Ewert examines the way early progressive efforts at civic education transformed the goals of public education for both good and ill by 'draping schools in the flag.' A must-read for everyone interested in civic education and school reform."