Winner of 1994 AESA Critics Award This book offers a sober assessment of power in the U.S. and its K-12 public schools. In spite of impressive democratic achievements in schools and society, the hegemonic and raw power of antidemocratic capitalism is significantly greater. The author's critical analysis, which owes a debt to the Western tradition of radical democracy, suggests that hegemony and repression are inextricably connected; therefore, the hopes for a more genuinely democratic polity - and supportive education - are problematic. An unflinchingly tough evaluation of the realities and complexities of antidemocratic power and practice is of crucial importance to present democratic projets, and the hope for their successful realization in our schools and extramural sites. The challenge of postmodern thought to democratic aspirations is considered also.