There has been some stuff written on MT's connections with the
McGuffey Readers: e.g. in Ron Powers's biography he mentions this,
pp. 26-7 or so. I have also mentioned this connection in my own work.
A decent book I recall looking at back in the day is called:
McGuffey And His Readers : Piety, Morality, And Education In 19th
Century America, by John H. Westerhoff. Also: Main Street on the
Middle Border, by Lewis Atherton.
These ideological sources are not at all unlike the many references to
the so-called Sunday-school books that MT often chastised: in tales
such as "Good Little Boy who Did Not Prosper," or "Life as I Find It."
There are some articles, somewhere out there, regarding MT's view of
certain philosophies of education, as well, but I do not have those
Harold K. Bush, Ph.D
Saint Louis University
St. Louis, MO