Andrew Hartman is a professor of history at Illinois State University focusing on U.S. intellectual history. He is the author of Education and the Cold War: The Battle for the American School (2008) and A War for the Soul of America: A History of the Culture Wars (2015). He is currently at work on his third book, "Karl Marx in America," which is contracted to be published by the University of Chicago Press. Hartman is the winner of two Fulbright Awards. He was the Fulbright Distinguished Chair in American Studies at the University of Southern Denmark for the 2013-14 academic year, and he was the Fulbright British Library Eccles Center Research Scholar for 2018-19. Hartman was the founding president of the Society for U.S. Intellectual History. He has been published in a host of academic and popular venues, including the Washington Post, Baffler, Chronicle of Higher Education, American Historian, Journal of American Studies, Reviews in American History, Journal of Policy History, Salon, Jacobin, Bookforum, and In These Times.
The curriculum of the public schools served as one of the primary fronts in the culture wars, those shouting matches over values that dominated headlines in the decades following the polarizing 1960s. Placed in the long historical context of American educational politics, Andrew Hartman will examine recent curriculum wars from three distinct angles: the lens of Christian conservatives who resisted secular curriculum reform at the grassroots; the perspective of neoconservatives who sought to overturn educational trends by taking hold of the commanding heights of the state; and the position of professional educators who believed their liberal curricular innovations represented objective knowledge. What emerges from this three-pronged approach is a vexing yet clear picture of why the knowledge taught to young Americans has long been such a hot button political issue, and why it is only getting hotter with continued controversies about theTexas state history curriculum and the United States Advanced Placement exam. The curriculum is a crucible for American modernity.