The Politics of the Texbook analyzes the factors that shape production, distribution and reception of school texts through original essays which emphasize the double-edged quality of textbooks. Textbooks are viewed as systems of moral regulation in the struggle of powerful groups to build political and cultural accord. They are also regarded as the site of popular resistance around discloding the interest underlying schoolknowledge and incorporating alternative traditions.
_The State and the Politics of Knowledge_ extends the insightful arguments Michael Apple provided in _Educating_ _the "Right" Way_ in new and truly international directions. Arguing that schooling is, by definition, political, Apple and his co-authors move beyond a critical analysis to describe numerous ways of interrupting dominance and creating truly democratic and realistic alternatives to the ways markets, standards, testing, and a limited vision of religion are now being pressed into schools.
Among the most important questions critical educators can ask today are the following: Can schools play a role in making a more just society possible? If not, why not? If so, what can they do? These questions provide the basis for this article by Michael Apple, as well as for the books under discussion here. The books by David Blacker, John Marsh, Mike Cole, and Pauline Lipman discussed in this essay are either Marxist, have been influenced by Marxist and socialist (...) ideas, or are published by presses that have a long history of publishing material with a Marxist and/or socialist orientation. In order to adequately deal with them, Apple devotes much of this essay to a set of arguments about the possibilities and limits of these ideas. After specifying those arguments, he discusses how they are developed in the books themselves. He grounds this discussion in a call for creating a broader “we” that is based on a more historically grounded understanding of the ways in which struggles over schooling actually can make a difference. (shrink)