Lost in the meritocracy: the undereducation of an overachiever

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"Percentile is destiny in America."So says Walter Kirn, one of our best observers and interpreters of American life, in this whip-smart memoir of his own long strange trip through American education. Working his way up the ladder of standardized tests, extracurricular activities, and class rankings, Kirn launched himself eastward from his rural Minnesota hometown to the ivy-covered campus of Princeton University. There he found himself not in a temple of higher learning so much as an arena for gamesmanship, snobbery, social climbing, ass-kissing, and recreational drug use, where the point of literature classes was to mirror the instructor's critical theories and actual reading of the books under consideration was optional. Just on the other side of "the bell curve's leading edge" loomed a complete psychic collapse.LOST IN THE MERITOCRACY reckons up the costs of a system where the point is simply to keep accumulating points and never to look back—or within. It's a remarkable book that suggests the first step toward intellectual fulfillment is getting off the treadmill that is the American meritocracy.

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Grouped Work ID 038d7b3a-f8b5-9e3a-8b47-9e56131289ed
full_title lost in the meritocracy the undereducation of an overachiever
author kirn walter
grouping_category book
lastUpdate 2017-08-14 05:04:42AM

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author Kirn, Walter, 1962-
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oclc (OCoLC)185032526
owning_library_arlington Arlington Public Library, Aurora Hills, Central, Cherrydale, Columbia Pike, Connection Crystal City, Detention Center, Glencarlyn, Local History, Plaza, Shirlington, Westover
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physical 211 p. ; 22 cm.
popularity 4
primary_isbn 9780385521284
publishDate 2009
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publisher Doubleday,
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subject_facet Authors, American -- 20th century -- Biography, Authors, American -- 21st century -- Biography, Students -- United States -- Biography
target_audience Adult
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title Lost in the meritocracy : the undereducation of an overachiever
title_display Lost in the meritocracy : the undereducation of an overachiever
title_full Lost in the meritocracy : the undereducation of an overachiever / by Walter Kirn
title_short Lost in the meritocracy :
title_sort lost in the meritocracy the undereducation of an overachiever
title_sub the undereducation of an overachiever