In a day when schools are called on to serve every social and political mission our nation’s leadership can conceive, David Steiner has issued a clarion call to restore public schooling to its essence. An education, Steiner insists, is meant to build knowledge and to foster thoughtfulness. Its aspiration is for people to be wise and to be virtuous. An education system playing this role must thus have the focus and capability to emphasize learning and, yes, academic work. Steiner is unapologetic about the intellectual role schools play and about the value of intellect to a nation. His call to restore the centrality of thinking to America’s schools is a challenge to those who would use schools as vessels for all other things, from politicians to academics themselves. If you’re dissatisfied with thin, polarized debate on the direction of public education, read this book to see a better, if difficult, path forward.