I read a ton of books on the history of higher education, how change happens in higher education, and how technology will change education, etc. Stuff going back to Boyer’s 1987 book College, Lion Gardiner’s 1994 work on redesigning higher education, to the more recent explosion of books on re-engineering what we do (I’m sure you all know the books).
But I’ve often found the visionary books to be detached from reality to some extent — proposing courses of actions that show an illiteracy of how colleges actually operate and the multiple functions they serve. And I’ve found that people that write about the system from the inside, the people that do get how change is made in higher ed often suffer from a really reduced sense of the possibilities.
This is maybe the first visionary book that I feel actually grapples with higher education as it actually exists. And it does it by making sense of how universities and colleges act, instead of just throwing up its (metaphorical book) hands and declaring higher ed insane, or greedy, or both.