“Davidson argues persuasively that student-centered, active learning can transform classrooms and even online courses. … Davidson’s enthusiasm and her examples should inspire creativity from a lot more college teachers.”

“I am aware that I cannot do justice to the merits of this book, let alone capture the depths of Davidson’s insights, in a few thousand words, but I do think I can make enough points sufficiently to warrant why readers should commit themselves to examining this volume, sharing it with others, and most importantly help to enact changes in higher education offered in this work.”

“At her best, Davidson writes in the tradition of Du Bois and Dewey, a pragmatist tradition that puts inquiry first and sees learning through the potential of the full, complex human beings students can become. If the new education is to be successful, whatever its use of technology, it will build on this tradition — as teachers and students make it their own, adapting it to changing times.”

“Cathy Davidson’s new book is a manifesto on teaching students — and institutions — how to survive and thrive in the digital age. … Davidson already has proven herself to be something of a contemporary Eliot — or at least visionary.”

“Davidson asks us to rethink absolutely everything about the university we have inherited from the late nineteenth century, starting with admissions, moving to grades, departments, and majors, and extending even to state funding, student loans, and the trajectories of faculty careers.”

“Cathy Davidson’s The New Education manages to pull of the neat trick of being relevant and fascinating for both the consumers and the producers of higher education. This is a book that I recommend to every tuition-paying parent and newly-enrolled student, as well a to all who make their living in academe.”

“The New Education takes a good hard look at the old education, and finds it sorely wanting. Are colleges and universities failing an entire generation of young people? Yes, argues Cathy Davidson, a renowned literary scholar and a leader in higher education reform. This is an important and illuminating book whose argument is driven by a deep knowledge of the past and an even deeper commitment to the future.”

Jill Lepore, Harvard University

“It’s Davidson who has a vision for what education could and should be that’s consistent with the traditional values of freedom, opportunity and progress we associate with education.”

“In an engaging, anecdotal, wide-ranging look at educational innovation, [Davidson] argues that students ‘need new ways of integrating knowledge,’ … Today’s students, writes the author, need skills to ready them for ‘intellectual space travel.’… A persuasive plea for creative learning.”

“She pulls no punches and writes in a style that challenges and encourages in equal measure. She is a doyen of the progressive education movement, and her ideas are far reaching and influential.”

“American colleges will fail kids without these 5 crucial upgrades.”

“Read it. And change the world! If you are an academic or a student or an administrator, begin with college.”

“Cathy Davidson offers us an inspiring and lucid explanation of how we got the educational system we have and how to build the one our students and our country needs and deserves. A must read for those interested in higher education.”

Diana Taylor, President, Modern Language Association

“This critique details much wrong in US HE but also sketches a plan for reform.”

The New Education compels us to equip our students with creative new tactics for navigating the volatile present. Grounded in a deep understanding of both historical and current crises in education, Davidson challenges us to reinvigorate and reconsider our approach to reform.”

danah boyd, author of It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens

“The New Education offers valuable reflections on ways educators can reexamine approaches to preparing young women and men for a rapidly evolving modern world. Grounded in decades of classroom experience and scholarly inquiry, Cathy Davidson makes a compelling case for educators to interrogate traditional structures in higher education, and help students seek, in her words, ‘a sustained and productive life.'”

John J. DeGioia, President of Georgetown University

“Eloquent and elegiac–Closing is a testament to the human spirit and to the dignity and importance of work.”

Lee Smith

“The book tells a simple, deep, timely, and moving story. Closing is a classic.”

Melissa Fay Greene

“Closing is a poignant reminder of how vulnerable we all are to change. The workers, hurt and stunned, open their lives to the book.”

John Sayles

“I found the book to be a succinct (it isn’t long), interesting (particularly the historical perspectives on problems that plague us today), practical (so many references and case studies of success!) guide to the big problems in universities. The book is also written in a funny and light-hearted way, despite the gravity of some of the issues that are discussed. I’d strongly recommend it to all HE colleagues, and especially to staff in managerial positions. We’re the ones who need to make the change.”

“Closing shows us clearly, from start to finish, the overwhelming effect on its employees of the closing down of a single, small, family business in a particular small place; yet in its calm and farsighted sympathy it underlines the fragility of all our working lives.”

Reynolds Price

“In her book The New Education, Davidson emphasizes the importance of higher education as a place of transformation for students, making the role of the teaching in the academy a critical one. Tracing the evolution of the university from the seventeenth century through today, Davidson … argues that our contemporary world has moved far beyond the nineteenth-century paradigms that the current university was designed for, and that it’s past time for colleges and universities to evolve as well.”

Closing is a beautifully composed elegy celebrating a vanishing way of life. These understated, evocative photographs by Bill Bamberger and this poetic text by Cathy N. Davidson ask, in effect, ‘Does one have to sell one’s soul in order to survive in contemporary America?'”

Joyce Carol Oates

“If there’s an untold story in America today, this is it. This sad, engrossing, and utterly unique book explores the precise moment of a factory closing with such eloquence and clarity of purpose that it feels like a great novel.”

Martin Scorsese

“A reminder . . . of the casual, forgotten face of sadness and of a life erased.”

Publisher's Weekly

“Closing is the best kind of documentary-telling a specific story about specific people in a large context that means something…. In a better world, Closing would be on the reading lists of every corporate board and business school.”

USA Today

An unflinchingly fair analysis. Hard-edged and realistic. Closing…issues a bold challenge to ‘business as usual.” 

New York Times Book Review
“Appealing…No one could have tried hard to fathom Japanese culture than Davids.  The result is a series of illuminations not unlike the sudden break in the clouds that finally lets her glimpse Mount Fuji from the window of a bullet train.”


Francine Prose, New York Times

“Drawing on recent work in social history, post-structuralist literary theory and feminist studies, (Davidson) argues persuasively that the genesis of American fiction was an integral part of a widespread crisis of authority in early modern America…A wonderful book.”


The Nation

“Now You See It starts where Malcolm Gladwell leaves off, showing how digital information will change our brains.  Think Alvin Toffler meets Ray Kurzweil on Francis Crick’s front porch. We need this book.”

Daniel Levitin, James McGill Professor of Neuroscience, McGill University and author of the New York Times bestsellers "This Is Your Brain on Music and The World in Six Songs"

“Davidson’s memoir, shimmering with poetic insights and poignant observations, stands out from the rest. . . . [A] compelling read for anyone considering a trip to Japan—or who has recently returned from one.”

Corrie Pikul, Bust

“Here is a stupendous book, a complete answer to any who believe that all that counts in a company is its bottom line, and that the only people with a stake in it are its shareholders.”

“While the New York Times continually publishes articles on the detrimental effects of technology for our concentration, Davidson takes the technological bull by the horns and argues that concentration hasn’t gone downhill with the internet: we’re just operating with an outdated notion of attention, in the workplace and at home.”

Sophie Duvernoy
LA Weekly, August 29, 2011

“The book’s purpose and strength are in detailing the important lessons we can glean from the online world. Rather than focusing on how games such as World of Warcraft or the social-networking services of Twitter and Facebook change our brains, Davidson believes we should foster these newfound skills, building curricula around interactive multiplayer games and training workers using virtual environments.”

“In a chatty, enthusiastic style, the author takes us on a journey through contemporary classrooms and offices to describe how they are changing—or, according to her, should change. Among much else, we need to build schools and workplaces that match the demands of our multitasking brains. That means emphasizing “nonlinear thinking,” “social networks” and “crowdsourcing.” ..Now You See It is filled with instructive anecdotes and genuine insights.”

“A remarkable new book, Now You See It . . . offers a fresh and reassuring perspective on how to manage anxieties about the bewildering pace of technological change. . . . Her work is the most powerful yet to insist that we can and should manage the impact of these changes in our lives.”

“Davidson profiles workplaces that have thrown out the industrial age rule of command and control, of management as supervision rather than leadership and support, detailing how these employers achieve both high profits and high staff retention.

I’m so pleased that Now You See It came out of our academic world, written by someone who works within our system. Her critique of higher education is that of an insider who wants to reform and improve the system, not blow it up. “

Now You See It shows how mind and technology can meet, with the latter becoming an extension of the mind – not simply a tool, but a mind tool. . . . Neatly presented in an accessible style, this account is peppered liberally with personal anecdotes and is laced with empirical evidence from psychological studies. Indeed, Davidson has taken great care in achieving this fine balance. Now You See It is humorous, poignant, entertaining, endearing, touching and challenging. It is a book I would happily recommend to anyone engaged in teaching at any level, because it aims both to comfort and to disrupt; it is devised to convince readers that the human mind is ready for the next quantum advance into our collective future, whatever that may be. It is certainly all-embracing in its scope, demonstrating how a sound knowledge of the many ways we can learn in new, media-rich environments might provide a better understanding of how individuals can attain their optimum potential.”

“As Ms. Davidson puts it: ‘Pundits may be asking if the Internet is bad for our children’s mental development, but the better question is whether the form of learning and knowledge-making we are instilling in our children is useful to their future.’ In her galvanic new book, “Now You See It,” Ms. Davidson asks, and ingeniously answers, that question. One of the nation’s great digital minds, she has written an immensely enjoyable omni-manifesto that’s officially about the brain science of attention. But the book also challenges nearly every assumption about American education. . . . As scholarly as “Now You See It” is — as rooted in field experience, as well as rigorous history, philosophy and science — this book about education happens to double as an optimistic, even thrilling, summer read. It supplies reasons for hope about the future. Take it to the beach. That much hope, plus that much scholarship, amounts to a distinctly unguilty pleasure.”

“Davidson has produced an exceptional and critically important book, one that is all-but-impossible to put down and likely to shape discussions for years to come.”