'Indelible and extraordinary, a powerful reckoning with just how far we've allowed reality to drift from our ideals.' Tara Westover (author of Educated), New York Times Book Review
We're told that universities are our greatest drivers of social mobility. But it's a lie.
The Inequality Machine is a damning exposé of how the university system ingrains privilege and injustice at every level of American society.
Paul Tough, bestselling author of How Children Succeed, exposes a world where small-town colleges go bust, while the most prestigious raise billions every year; where overstretched admissions officers are forced to pick rich candidates over smart ones; where black and working-class students are left to sink or swim on uncaring campuses. Along the way, he uncovers cutting-edge research from the academics leading the way to a new kind of university - one where students succeed not because of their background, but because of the quality of their minds.
The result is a call-to-arms for universities that work for everyone, and a manual for how we can make it happen.
'Humanizes the process of higher education . . . Fascinating stories about efforts to remediate class disparities in higher education' New Yorker
'A comprehensive, moving account of the inequalities that block many poor, minority and first-generation students from realizing the benefits of a college education' Forbes
Indelible and extraordinary, a powerful reckoning with just how far we’ve allowed reality to drift from our ideals. It’s difficult to overstate the importance of higher education to the present moment.
A readable kiss-and-tell study . . . Tough finds that higher education, which has the potential to increase upward mobility, has become an obstacle that perpetuates social rigidity. The poor remain poor and the rich get richer . . . this study is laced with deep anger.
Humanizes the process of higher education . . . Fascinating stories about efforts to remediate class disparities in higher education
In this fascinating study, education journalist Tough argues persuasively that access to an elite college education, which in the US is popularly believed to be a meritocratically distributed social equalizer, is in fact distributed in ways that reinforce existing economic divisions . . . This well-written and persuasive book is likely to make a splash.
[Tough] writes movingly about students who are trying to navigate the confounding, expensive, and intimidating process of getting into and staying in college.
Important . . . Among his book's many vital contributions are its portraits of schools and programs that model a better way.
A deeply reported and damning portrait of fraying American social mobility . . . A clear-eyed portrait of what a stacked game it really is.
A comprehensive, moving account of the inequalities that block many poor, minority and first-generation students from realizing the benefits of a college education.
[Tough's] urgent account combines cogent data and artful storytelling to show how higher education has veered from its meritocratic ideals to exacerbate society's inequality.