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Edgar Z. Friedenberg

1921 -

Educator, education critic, sociologist. Friedenberg became professor of education and sociology at State University of New York, Buffalo. His education theories went against the grain of the emerging Dewey-inspired view that education's purpose was to prepare students for the benefit of society. He contributed to understanding of the adolescents of the sixties, and promoted the already-fading virtues of competency, of facts as opposed to dogma, and of mastery of subjects - a creed of excellence. Author of The Vanishing Adolescent (1959), Coming of Age in America: Growth and Acquiescence (1965), and other studies of American society.

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The Anti-American Generation
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In a world as empirical as ours, a youngster who does not know what he is good at will not be sure what he is good for.

1959 - from The Vanishing Adolescent
Enlightened institutions are like...the alimentary canal. One can accept the necessity, and even marvel at the intricacy of the process, without, however, admiring its end product.

quoted in Columbo's New Canadian Quotations by John Robert Columbo
Canadians... have had less practice than almost any nation in the world in learning to view their government as a real or potential evil from a consistent ideological point of view.

quoted in Columbo's New Canadian Quotations by John Robert Columbo
... Canadians... [may] have the kind of government, and as much freedom, as they want. What is absent here is not just the conditions of liberty, but the desire for it. Liberty may be... a controlled substance in Canada; but its street value is damned low.

quoted in Columbo's New Canadian Quotations by John Robert Columbo
Canadian society is deficient, not in respect for law but in respect for liberty.

quoted in Columbo's New Canadian Quotations by John Robert Columbo
The shock of knowing how their country is really run would, it is assumed, be too great for Canadians to bear; and they, themselves, avert their eyes.

quoted in Columbo's New Canadian Quotations by John Robert Columbo
Canadians are not good at Final Solutions but they are much better at defining and attacking specific and legitimate problems. Indeed, one of the greatest threats to the Canadian way of life lies, I think, in the fact that Canadian success in solving problems within the limits of its political system may lead Canadians to retain their faith in liberalism, and even Liberalism, to resolve pressing moral dilemmas related to welfare and liberty.

quoted in Columbo's New Canadian Quotations by John Robert Columbo