Lost in the Meritocracy: The Undereducation of an Overachiever

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Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2010 - Biography & Autobiography - 211 pages
7 Reviews
A New York Times Notable Book
A Daily Beast Best Book of the Year
A Huffington Post Best Book of the Year

From elementary school on, Walter Kirn knew how to stay at the top of his class: He clapped erasers, memorized answer keys, and parroted his teachers' pet theories. But when he launched himself eastward to an Ivy League university, Kirn discovered that the temple of higher learning he had expected was instead just another arena for more gamesmanship, snobbery, and social climbing. In this whip-smart memoir of kissing-up, cramming, and competition, Lost in the Meritocracy reckons the costs of an educational system where the point is simply to keep accumulating points and never to look back--or within. 
 
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - fearless2012 - LibraryThing

I was expecting to be impressed with this book, since I agreed with its main idea, that there are "costs of an educational system where the point is simply to keep accumulating points and never to ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - debnance - LibraryThing

He worked the system. Better, he knew how to work the system.He was not particularly well educated. He faked it. He scammed his teachers. He took the right classes. He aced the SAT.I’m not sure I really wanted to know this. Is he typical? I know I don’t want to know the answer to that. Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

Section 1
1
Section 2
24
Section 3
48
Section 4
57
Section 5
75
Section 6
100
Section 7
118
Section 8
146
Section 9
165
Section 10
182
Section 11
189
Section 12
200
Section 13
206
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

Walter Kirn is a regular reviewer for The New York Times Book Review, and his work appears in The Atlantic, The New York Times Magazine, Vogue, Time, New York, GQ and Esquire. He is the author of six previous works of fiction: My Hard Bargain: Stories, She Needed Me, Thumbsucker, Up in the Air, Mission to America and The Unbinding. Kirn is a graduate of Princeton University and attended Oxford on a scholarship from the Keasby Foundation. He lives in Livingston, Montana.

Bibliographic information