Johann N. Neem


Johann N. Neem is professor of history at Western Washington University. He is the author of What’s the Point of College? Seeking Purpose in an Age of Reform and Democracy’s Schools: The Rise of Public Education in America.

Missed America

from Theological Variations, Volume 25, Number 2

When all the bad things America did are true, but none of the good things, something is amiss.

A Usable Past for a Post-American Nation

from The Use and Abuse of History, Volume 24, Number 2

We are living through a time, however, when we cannot take our shared identity—and therefore our shared stories—for granted.

Unbecoming American

from Monsters, Volume 22, Number 1

As a child, I thought that to be American was to believe in individuality, to support pluralism and equality, and to celebrate common holidays and eat common foods.

The Strange Afterlife of William McGuffey and His Readers

from Identities—What Are They Good For?, Volume 20, Number 2

Whether revering or rejecting his work, McGuffey’s fans and detractors both manage to miss the point of his original project.

Unbinding a Nation

from Re-enchantment, Volume 17, Number 3

The culture wars have led to a deep sense of loss for most normative Americans.

The Universe in a Grain of Sand?

from The Cosmopolitan Predicament, Volume 11, Number 3

Those committed to human rights at the global level should seek not to universalize the particular but rather to particularize the universal.

The Model Minority Might Be Too Good at the Game

Warikoo might have explored the ways in which Asian cultural repertoires matched up with the neoliberal transformation of our schools and colleges.

On Critical Thinking

We can only think critically about things about which we have knowledge.

What’s Behind Trump’s Wall?

Do Trump’s supporters represent a new Know-Nothing movement?

College Degrees or College Education?

We do not know how to evaluate what makes up a good college education.

The Daily Show in the Age of Irony

Jon Stewart and the age of irony.

What We're Reading This Summer

Summer reads from THR staff and friends.