Book Reviews

Review of Excellent Sheep

excellent-sheep-cover-picAuthor William Deresiewicz grew up in a household that valued education, science, the Ivy League and a brilliant career. He became a professor at Yale University while still in his 30s (he later quit to become a writer). His fierce indictment of elite colleges, overbearing parents and driven students comes from firsthand experience. Deresiewicz portrays a system of higher education in which top colleges pursue only money and prestige, parents push children mercilessly – largely to bolster their own self-worth – and students (the titular sheep) care only about the obscene salaries they’ll command on graduation. However, these are not opinions to take literally. Reflect instead on Deresiewicz’s message; he is passionate and pushes his arguments to the extreme. He speaks to the rule, not the many exceptions. With that caveat, getAbstract recommends his call for better values and real learning to parents, students, employers, professors and those governed by his educated herd.

William Deresiewicz. Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite and the Way to a Meaningful Life. Free Press, 2014. 242 pages. ISBN-13: 9781476702711.

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