George H. Smith was formerly Senior Research Fellow for the Institute for Humane Studies, a lecturer on American History for Cato Summer Seminars, and Executive Editor of Knowledge Products. Smith’s fourth and most recent book, The System of Liberty, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2013.
Since at least the days of ancient Sparta, governments have sought to control the educational process. By influencing the education of their citizens, governments hope to produce loyal subjects. Yet everywhere, at all times, men and women of independent mind and will have resisted and opposed state education. Critics of State Education: A Reader surveys this important movement, bringing together influential historical texts of thinkers great and small. In readings from Plato’s Athens to Priestley’s Britain, George H. Smith and Marilyn Moore explore the value of liberating education from the influence and control of government.