Where You Go Is Not Who You'll Be: An Antidote to the College Admissions Mania

Frank Bruni. Grand Central, $25 (224p) ISBN 978-1-4555-3270-4
With great energy and enthusiasm, New York Times columnist Bruni takes a pin to “our society's warped obsession with elite colleges" and provides a commonsense check to the yearly “admissions mania" of students competing for coveted slots at top schools. In taking apart the “largely subjective" and “fatally flawed" rankings of U.S. News & World Report and reviewing the dearth of class diversity and “lack of imagination" at the pinnacle of higher education, Bruni tosses a rock through the undeserved “veneration of elite schools" and celebrates the democratic insistence that a “good student can get a good education just about anywhere." He fills the book with profiles of successful CEOs, politicians, entrepreneurs, and other known names to illustrate how self-starters turned their default school into a stepladder to success. Bruni's quick wit and slick style nimbly glosses over the systemic problems with American higher education and instead reassures floundering young adults and hand-wringing parents that college is and is not the most crucial years of a person's life, and that the true measure of success—“great careers and lives that matter"—is not bought with a diploma but built with “a robust and lasting energy for hard work." While Bruni's heartfelt argument ignores somewhat blissfully the deeper problems facing higher education, his insistence on an ideal liberal, humanistic college as a playground for the mind is a nostalgic and valuable contribution to the larger conversation. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/26/2015
Release date: 03/17/2015
Genre: Nonfiction
Compact Disc - 978-1-4789-5920-5
Compact Disc - 978-1-4789-5923-6
Open Ebook - 176 pages - 978-1-4555-3269-8
Paperback - 272 pages - 978-1-4555-3268-1
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