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Democracy and Education in Classical Athens and the American Founding

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Martin D. Carcieri

Democracy and Education in Classical Athens and the American Founding grapples with the paradox inherent in the U.S. Supreme Court’s San Antonio Independent School District v. Rodriguez ruling, which found that education is not a fundamental right under the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution. Through an examination of classical Athens under the educational influence of the Sophists and the key educational writings of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, this book illustrates the close link between education and democracy on both historical and theoretical grounds. After demonstrating that the U.S. Constitution embodies a variant of democracy, namely liberal republicanism, it concludes that the Rodriguez decision was nonetheless correct, since it also rests on powerful arguments from democratic theory.