Reviews

  • 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.

    Tara Westover, New York Times Book Review
  • 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.

    Times Higher Education
  • Humanizes the process of higher education . . . Fascinating stories about efforts to remediate class disparities in higher education

    New Yorker
  • 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.

    Publishers Weekly
  • [Tough] writes movingly about students who are trying to navigate the confounding, expensive, and intimidating process of getting into and staying in college.

    WIRED
  • Important . . . Among his book's many vital contributions are its portraits of schools and programs that model a better way.

    New York Times
  • A deeply reported and damning portrait of fraying American social mobility . . . A clear-eyed portrait of what a stacked game it really is.

    Quartz
  • 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
  • [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.

    New York Times Book Review

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