Curtis Manning’s “The History of Higher Education in Louisiana” is, yes, very Louisiana-specific. But even if you don’t live, work or otherwise have any interest in the colorful political and educational history of Louisiana, the book is still a great case study on the role state governments have played in the development (and sometimes in the hindrance) of public higher education.
Throughout the book, Manning builds a case that there are two great themes in Louisiana’s higher education history- the first being the continuance of the “strong king” system from the State’s colonial past through today, and the second being the development and nurturance of a de facto, racially segregated dual education system.
The messy and often haphazard interplay between politics and education are well illustrated in the book. As Louisiana, like many other states, looks to the future the past is prologue.