Sam Abrams’ book has become essen- tial to understanding the new challenges facing American politics, with the future of the education system being a central issue. The Democrats’ victory in the 2018 midterm election demonstrated that the ability of Progressives to bring together voters was based less on criticising the President and more on defending public services. While social security remained at the heart of the debate, education had become a major issue in several of the congressional candidates’ campaigns. Soon after, the new year began with the Los Angeles teachers’ strike.
Sam Abrams not only offers a historical overview of the education system crisis under the Reagan administration, but also a reminder of the failure of privatisa- tion attempts in the 1990s. In addition, he introduces European readers to the ongo- ing experiment of Charter schools. Being non-profit schools and therefore free of charge for parents, these state-funded private schools are simultaneously free from administrative constraints, but in danger of closure if they fail.