Their Common Sense is a social history of early abstract art, but it has also become a history of the first steps taken toward mass culture, steps that were orchestrated by the development of a universal education in the public schools and marked by a quandary over language. The book is a study of both ‘common sense’ and modernism generally between 1880 and 1925. Their Common Sense, however, does not see its purpose as being that of simply resetting the academic problems challenging art history and modern cultural studies today. It seeks, as well, to ask more basic questions about the consequences of an education. As such, the book takes many of the problems known to contemporary theoretical speculation and returns them to history, but it does so by finding another way to write history, keeping the voices alive, spoken still beautiful, still subversive.