THE COMMUNISTS AND THE SCHOOLS by Robert W. Iversen

THE COMMUNISTS AND THE SCHOOLS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

In the Fund for the Republic series on Communism in American Life, this is an exhaustive, authoritative and non-partisan study of ""Communist activity within the American educational system, its nature, magnitude and import"". While the school is an area where many tensions co-exist (between parents and teachers, the school and the community), and while the young provide the most fertile terrain for the spirit of rebellion, surprisingly enough the schools have remained really untouched by Communism. It is almost impossible to seduce the young (or to impose ideas on them) within the classroom and most indoctrination has been accomplished on the outside for what was at best a ""student flirtation"". Professor Iverson's impressive study begins with the at first disorganized efforts from 1914 on; the later formulation of a party line in education (although Browder doubted its success) and John Dewey's report and resistance (although his methods- misused- led to classroom anarchy). From the first tactic, the undermining of authority, to the creation of ""front"" organizations"", to the attempt to gain control of the Teachers Union, the influence extends in the '30's as the ""Communists go to college"". Both before and after World War II, this details the reactions of the press, the politicians, the public; the postwar vigilantes who conducted their investigation- the private Red hunts- the ""Congressional Confessional"" and the cold war too brought its increased pressure, with more cautious attitudes in the classroom and on the campus as a direct result. The summation here however leaves little doubt of the limited success Communism has had in this particular area, while leading inevitably- in certain cases- to the victimation of the innocent. A highly controlled socio-political inquiry- for the serious student and investigator.

Pub Date: Oct. 14th, 1959
Publisher: Harcourt, Brace