New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1971. First edition. Octavo, original pale gray cloth, original dust jacket. Slight bump to one corner. Tape repair to the verso of bottom front panel of bright, unclipped dust jacket. A near-fine copy. Item #78
"WE NEED A NAME FOR THOSE WHO LOVE THE EARTH ON WHICH EACH CAN MEET THE OTHER" First edition of Ivan Illich's argument for a radical approach to educational and social reform—"the ethos, not just the institutions, of society ought to be 'deschooled.'" After studying in Vienna and Rome, Illich was ordained in 1951. While serving the largely Puerto Rican parishioners at the Church of the Incarnation in New York City's Washington Heights in the 1950's, Father Illich seemed to experience an epiphany about the true nature of inequality in a global age. "Illich's anchoring focus was the person in-community, who inevitably is absorbed by the megagroups and metaphysics of modernity" and a corresponding distrust of experts: "The institutionalization of some virtuous intent inevitably leads to self-serving arrangements that subvert the very good they once intended" (James R. Kelly). Illich subsequently founded the "widely known and controversial" Center for Intercultural Documentation in Cuernavaca, Mexico. These seven chapters describe a modern emphasis on "schooling" over education leading to an institutional decay creating "physical pollution, social polarization, and psychological impotence." Deschooling Society was part of the World Perspectives series, edited by Ruth Nanda Anshen. Her general statement on the nature of the series appears before Illich's brief Introduction (dated, "CIDOC / Cuernavaca, Mexico / November 1970"). James R. Kelly. Intercultural Warrior (America magazine, November 2015).