Radical Roots Book Cover


“Radical Roots: How One Professor Changed a University’s Legacy” tells the story of Augsburg University sociology professor Joel Torstenson. In the 1960s, Torstenson challenged his university to embrace its urban setting and to design its curricular, co-curricular, and community engagement programs to advance its mission of “Education for service.” The compelling story of Torstenson’s legacy at Augsburg over the past 60 years offers lessons for colleges and universities across the country committed to democratic engagement in their work at the intersections of mission and place.

“Radical Roots” documents and celebrates the legacy of Professor Joel Torstenson, and seeks to understand the impact of this legacy’s inception, evolution, and current manifestations and impact at Augsburg and in the wider world. The book also shares some of the lessons learned from 60 years of innovation following Torstenson’s vision, with the hope that these lessons might serve the broader community of colleges, universities, faculty, staff, and students engaged in similar pursuits.


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