Providence Journal: “A perfect book”

April 23, 2011

Luther Spoehr of Brown University writes in the Providence Journal:

Journalist Andrew Ferguson, senior editor at the Weekly Standard and author of “Land of Lincoln,” has written a perfect book: it makes you laugh and makes you think. His two-year “crash course” ends with his son entering college, but getting there is both all and none of the fun.

Ferguson’s tale is a case study of “college mania,” an affliction of the upper-middle class that, he admits, is a ritual born of affluence that he and his family are lucky to have. At the same time, the frenzied scramble to get into a selective college seems utterly irrational, not to mention absurd, sadistic, masochistic, and exhausting. As an anthropological “participant/observer,” Ferguson strikes just the right wry, skeptical, often hilarious, notes.

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