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Democratizing America
Shaf Nader and the Founding of the Impossible College
Dimitra Doukas; foreword by William G. Shannon; afterword by Ralph Nader

published 2017 6" x 9" • 160 pages • b&w photos
ISBN 9781566560092 • paperback • $20.00

AN IMPORTANT CONTRIBUTION TO THE EMERGING DEBATE ABOUT THE ROLE OF COMMUNITY COLLEGES IN OUR CHANGING SOCIETY

“Dimitra Doukas tells an engrossing story… The book shows what local activists with a vision can accomplish, but at the same time offers a timely warning about how governmental bureaucracy can stifle educational creativity.”
—Eric Foner, Ph.D., Columbia University

“This book is prime reading for every community college professional and every graduate student in higher education and a must for all pursuing community college careers.”
—Frank Mensel, Education Policy Center, University of Alabama Tuscaloosa

Already past its manufacturing heyday, Winsted, Connecticut, the Naders’ hometown, was wrecked by the devastating 1955 flood. For Shaf Nader, Ralph's elder brother, the way to rebuild was by democratizing knowledge. A community college, he envisioned, would turn the old town into a regional hub of learning and creative citizenship. Impossible, people said, Winsted was too small, too gritty, too depressed. Turning those attitudes around took genius, persistence, and an uncommon gift of persuasion. This inspiring story is a close-up case study of grassroots change, and of a visionary leader who withstood ridicule and disappointment long enough to show hard-headed New Englanders what they really agreed on.

Dimitra Doukas, Ph.D., is an anthropologist and the author of the groundbreaking study, Worked Over: The Corporate Sabotage of an American Community.

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