John Taylor Gatto

John Taylor Gatto is one of today's most interesting writers on education. He has written many articles on the topic and is perhaps most well known for his book, Dumbing Us Down: The Invisible Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling.

As a former New York City and New York State Teacher of the Year, John Taylor Gatto has an "inside the trenches" perspective on education and his criticisms cannot be easily written off.

The Underground History of American Education: A Schoolteachers Intimate Investigation Into the Problem of Modern Schooling by John Taylor Gatto

(We have the new revised edition! If you bought the original version, the changes aren't significant enough to warrant buying another copy, but if you are buying your first copy, this is the one you want. This version primarily has a new cover and corrects some errors from the first printing.)

Our favorite radical education theorist has done it again! Seven years in the making, over 300,000 words and 412 pages with an extensive index - this is definitely not a "fluff" book. John Taylor Gatto is a former New York City and New York State Teacher of the year. Author of "Dumbing Us Down," Gatto is an advocate of homeschooling.

What do the Prussian military, coal mining companies, the industrial revolution, and the principles of scientific management have in common? According to Gatto, they forever changed our early educational practices and contributed to the creation of our modern American school system, and that is definitely not a good thing!

George Washington, with no schooling until he was eleven (and then only two years of school) could handle geometry and trigonometry that would challenge many college students today. He became the architect of his own estate and started several successful businesses as a young man. Gatto tells us that today, "No public school in the United States is set up to allow a George Washington to happen. Washingtons in the bud stage are screened, browbeaten, or bribed to conform to a narrow outlook on social truth. Boys like Andrew Carnegie who begged his mother not to send him to school and was well on his way to immortality and fortune at the age of thirteen would be referred today for psychological counseling; Thomas Edison would find himself in Special Ed until his peculiar genius had been tamed."

At times scholarly, at times stream-of-consciousness, and at times passionate cheerleading, this is a book that will challenge many of your ideas about education while at the same time confirming many of your suspicions. I can assure you that as you read this book you may at times find yourself exclaiming out loud in agreement with what you read, or muttering disagreements under your breath, but you definitely won't find yourself bored.
#0040X $30 $24.00 Not currently available


Back in July of 2000, we announced the release of the Author's Special Pre-publication Edition of The Underground History of American Education: A Schoolteachers Intimate Investigation Into the Problem of Modern Schooling, by John Taylor Gatto. We told you that the first market edition would be released on January 31, 2001.

Many of you asked what an "Author's Special Pre-publication Edition" was and how it would differ from a "first market edition." We explained that John had actually published the book himself in the full format he wanted to see released. He was concerned that most publishers would argue against a 3 pound, 412 page book and would want to edit it down to a smaller size. By publishing it himself (the Author's special edition) and demonstrating that there was a good market for the book as is, he hoped to be in a stronger negotiating position when he made a deal with a bigger publishing company. His original intent was to have a deal with a publisher by the end of the year and to have them release the first edition for the general market by the end of January.

The original plan changed. A documentary based on John's book is now in the works. Because of the film, John wanted to stay flexible and keep all his options open, so he has decided not to make a deal with any publishers for the rights to his book. There was no "first market" edition in January. John continued to publish the "pre-release" edition until the summer of 2001. At that time, he released the above printing which corrects a few typos, and has new cover art.

Dumbing Us Down: The Invisible Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling by (10th Anniversary Edition) by John Taylor Gatto. Contains essays based on some of John's speeches about school and education. While not a book about homeschooling, it makes some shrewd observations about the failures of public schooling and how to re-engage the family's involvement in learning. An eye-opener for those still unconvinced of the benefits of homeschooling. I believe Gatto's credentials, in part, win skeptics over (he was New York City and New York State Teacher of the Year). I simply enjoy his passionate voice and concise analysis of the problems with compulsory education.

The 10th Anniversary edition contains a new afterward by the author in which he reflects on the past 10 years and updates you on some of his current projects.

Paper, 104 pages.

#4487 $11.95