“From her start in politics as a teenager Andrea Batista Schlesinger has asked the important questions. Now she asks her most important: are we teaching young people to value inquiry, and if not, what hope can we have for the future of democracy?”
—Katrina vanden Heuvel, Publisher, The Nation
“The road to wisdom is asking `why?’ Andrea Batista Schlesinger has been asking `why?’ and supplying her own bright and thoughtful answers for long enough that some of us suggested she write a book. It’s fortunate for all of us that her answer was `why not!’”
—Governor Mario Cuomo
“Andrea is a passionate supporter of open inquiry, discussion, and debate in our schools on matters of public concern. It is difficult to think of any other goal as important to the preservation and improvement of our free society.”
—Charles N. Quigley, Executive Director, Center for Civic Education
“The Death of Why? makes the case that we cannot create social change without a culture of questioning. We should pay close attention to this brilliant contribution.”
—Deepak Bhargava, Executive Director, Center for Community Change
“She asks the right questions at a time when we seem more eager for answers that we don’t understand or care about.”
—Deborah Meier, Senior Scholar, New York University, author of In Schools We Trust and The Power of Their Ideas, and founder of innovative New York and Boston area public schools
Introduction: Questions and Power
Part I: Culture: Questions or Answers?
Chapter 1: Inquiry is Risky, Resilience is the Reward, and Other Lessons from Childhood
Chapter 2: Ideological Segregation by Click and by Clique
Chapter 3: Consuming Opinion
Chapter 4: In Google We Trust
Part II: Schools: Citizens or Consumers?
Chapter 5: The Three R’s and a Why
Chapter 6: No Piggybank Left Behind
Chapter 7: Questioning the System, or Beating it?
Chapter 8: The Marxist, Anti-American Conspiracy to Convert Young People to Engaged Citizenship
Part III: Politics: Engaged or Connected?
Chapter 9: Black and White and Dead All Over
Chapter 10: Who’s Afraid of Virginia Youth?
Chapter 11: Lights, Camera, Debate!
Conclusion: A Call for Slow Democracy
About the Author