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Paul Goodman (1911–1972) was a public intellectual who is best known today for his 1960 book Growing Up Absurd, one of the primary influences on the New Left of the 1960s. Goodman rejected the common claim that the problem with education lay in the schools’ failure to properly socialize students. To the contrary, Goodman argued that students were oversocialized and would benefit from the dismantling and decentralization of the public school systems. He proposed a number of small-scale experiments intended to take over the function of the nation’s overwhelming, monolithic school systems, and provide authentic education, rather than babysitting and job training. While Goodman’s work is largely forgotten today, he has recently received attention as the subject of the documentary film Paul Goodman Changed My ...

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