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That belief is wrong. It's cruel. And in WHERE YOU GO IS NOT WHO YOU'LL BE, Frank Bruni explains why, giving students and their parents a new perspective on this brutal, deeply flawed competition and a path out of the anxiety that it provokes.
Bruni, a bestselling author and a columnist for the "New York Times," shows that the Ivy League has no monopoly on corner offices, governors' mansions, or the most prestigious academic and scientific grants. Through statistics, surveys, and the stories of hugely successful people who didn't attend the most exclusive schools, he demonstrates that many kinds of colleges-large public universities, tiny hideaways in the hinterlands-serve as ideal springboards. And he illuminates how to make the most of them. What matters in the end are a student's efforts in and out of the classroom, not the gleam of his or her diploma.
Where you go "isn't "who you'll be. Americans need to hear that-and this indispensable manifesto says it with eloquence and respect for the real promise of higher education.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-01-26
- Reviewer: Staff
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.)