Critics of State Education

A Reader


Available formats

Since at least the days of ancient Sparta, governments have sought to control the educational process. By influencing the education of their citizens, governments hope to produce loyal subjects. Yet everywhere, at all times, men and women of independent mind and will have resisted and opposed state education. Critics of State Education: A Reader surveys this important movement, bringing together influential historical texts of thinkers great and small. In readings from Plato’s Athens to Priestley’s Britain, George H. Smith and Marilyn Moore explore the value of liberating education from the influence and control of government.

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About the Editors

George H. Smith writes a regular column for He is the author of seven books, including The System of Liberty: Themes in the History of Classical Liberalism, published by Cambridge University Press, three collections of essays published by, and is the co-editor, with Marilyn Moore, of Individualism: A Reader.

Marilyn Moore holds a PhD in English literature. She is an adjunct professor of English and rhetoric at Triton College (Illinois), and also works as a writer and reading group moderator at The Atlas Society and as a freelance editor.


Number of Pages: 
Publication Date: 
October 10, 2017