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Colleges and universities are among the most cherished institutions in American society -- and also among the most controversial. Recounting the many crises and triumphs in the long history of American higher education, historian John Thelin offers welcome perspective on this influential aspect of American life. Since its original publication, A History of American Higher Education has distinguished itself as the widest-ranging and most engaging account of the origins and evolution of America's public and private colleges and universities. It is widely praised for providing a comprehensive and readable review of the academy's history and influence on society. The second edition brings this seminal work up to date, featuring a revised preface and a new chapter on today's hot-button issues, including big-time sports programs, the changing role of governing boards, and the financial challenges posed by the economic downturn. Praise for the first edition "Destined to be the standard work in this area for years to come." -- Journal of College Student Development "The book is worthy of being the major new overview of U.S. higher education." -- Education Review "A readable and concise introduction to this subject, it propels audience members to develop an appreciation for the heterogeneous... academe story as a whole." -- Teachers College Record "Well written and engaging... Thelin has raised the bar for historians of higher education to clear." -- Facilities Manager "Apart from being first-rate historical interpretation, Thelin's book offers several advantages that should make it attractive to the general reader as well as the scholar... His writing is brisk, concise, and humorous... Part public policy analyst and part social historian, Mr. Thelin weaves a tight narrative that keeps moving." -- Lexington Herald-Leader "Fills a real need in the scholarship... Accessible and informative, providing a reasonable foundation on which to build a rich understanding of the development of American higher education." -- Register of the Kentucky Historical Society "Despite its age, Rudolph's single-volume history has endured... Now John Thelin's A History of American Higher Education provides a worthy replacement." -- History of Education Quarterly