Editor's Note: This is the fourth in a monthly series intended to introduce new generations of faculty members and administrators to a core set of classic books about higher education and its institutions.The first three columns are here,here, and here.
There are two ways to ruin a university. The first is to submit it to the demands of industry and finance. That is the way that Upton Sinclair criticizes in his 1923 treatise, The Goose-Step: a Study of American Education. The other way is to hand it over to a revolutionary political agenda. That is the way that Sinclair advocates. 
In his book on higher education, the self-confessed "socialist writer" Sinclair travels the country and visits colleges and universities. Every time he boards the train, he relates the overlap between the local railroad magnates and the board of trustees of the largest university in the region he's visiting. His conclusion: "Our educational system is not a public service, but an instrument of special privilege; its purpose is not to further the welfare of mankind, but merely to keep America capitalist."