Liberty and Learning: The Evolution of American Education

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Larry P. Arnn, the President of Hillsdale College, traces the history of education from the founding of the U.S. Office of Education (based on the Prussian system) in 1869 to the Higher Education Act of 1965 and its subsequent reauthorizations, to contemporary legislation. He connects these changes to fundamental shifts in our understanding of what education is, of the purpose and ends of government, and of what it means to be human. He offers insight into the idea of liberal education as it developed in Western civilization, marked by the confluence of biblical religion and Socratic philosophy.

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Larry P. Arnn is the twelfth president of Hillsdale College. He received his B.A. in 1974 from Arkansas State University, graduating with the highest distinction. He received his M.A. in Government in 1976 and his Ph.D. in Government in 1985 from the Claremont Graduate School. He also studied in England from 1977 to 1980, first as a research student in International History at the London School of Economics, and then in Modern History at Worcester College, Oxford University. While in England, he also served as director of research for Martin Gilbert, now Sir Martin, of Merton College, Oxford, and the official biographer of Winston Churchill. He returned to the United States in 1980 to become an editor for Public Research, Syndicated, and from 1985-2000 he served as president of the Claremont Institute, an education and research institution based in Southern California. While at Claremont, he was the founding chairman of the California Civil Rights Initiative, which was passed by California voters in 1996 and prohibited racial preferences in state hiring, contracting and admissions.

Dr. Arnn is on the board of directors of the Heritage Foundation, the Army War College, the Henry Salvatori Center of Claremont McKenna College and the Claremont Institute. He is a member of the American Political Science Association, the Mont Pelerin Society, the International Churchill Society and the Philanthropy Roundtable. He is published widely in national newspapers, magazines and periodicals on issues of public policy, history and political theory.

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