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Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite and the Way to a Meaningful Life #2020

Excellent Sheep The Miseducation of the American Elite and the Way to a Meaningful Life A groundbreaking manifesto for people searching for the kind of insight on leading thinking and living that elite schools should be but aren t providing As a professor at Yale Bill Deresiewicz saw

  • Title: Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite and the Way to a Meaningful Life
  • Author: William Deresiewicz
  • ISBN: 9781476702711
  • Page: 296
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite and the Way to a Meaningful Life By William Deresiewicz, A groundbreaking manifesto for people searching for the kind of insight on leading, thinking, and living that elite schools should be but aren t providing.As a professor at Yale, Bill Deresiewicz saw something that troubled him deeply His students, some of the nation s brightest minds, were adrift when it came to the big questions how to think critically and creatively,A groundbreaking manifesto for people searching for the kind of insight on leading, thinking, and living that elite schools should be but aren t providing.As a professor at Yale, Bill Deresiewicz saw something that troubled him deeply His students, some of the nation s brightest minds, were adrift when it came to the big questions how to think critically and creatively, and how to find a sense of purpose.Excellent Sheep takes a sharp look at the high pressure conveyor belt that begins with parents and counselors who demand perfect grades and culminates in the skewed applications Deresiewicz saw firsthand as a member of Yale s admissions committee As schools shift focus from the humanities to practical subjects like economics and computer science, students are losing the ability to think in innovative ways Deresiewicz explains how college should be a time for self discovery, when students can establish their own values and measures of success, so they can forge their own path He addresses parents, students, educators, and anyone who s interested in the direction of American society, featuring quotes from real students and graduates he has corresponded with over the years, candidly exposing where the system is broken and clearly presenting solutions.

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      Published :2019-08-11T09:13:33+00:00

    1 thought on “Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite and the Way to a Meaningful Life

    1. I still remember my first exposure to Deresiewicz I had recently dropped out of graduate school full of disgust and indignation and as a form of self therapy I was busy reading everything I could find about the flaws of higher education Naturally, I jumped on Deresiewicz s essay in The American Scholar The Disadvantages of an Elite Education It seemed to put into words so many things I d been thinking A few days later, I was in the car with my mom and my brother we were dropping my brother off a [...]

    2. As I ve said in other reviews, every time I read a book about higher education, it stirs my emotions up to such an extent that I cannot help but write an intensely personal review You ve been warned Here goes.If you were raised in a middle class American family, then quite likely, the main goal not just of your education but of your entire childhood was to get into a good college As the book so brilliantly puts it, We re not teaching to the test we re living to it A kid who gets into Harvard, Ya [...]

    3. Absolutely one of the best books I ve ever read about higher education, but so much than just that This is a dangerous little book, it really exposes some dirty secrets of the hidden American class caste system This is something you almost never see talked or written about, an expose of how the game is and always has been rigged to perpetuate wealth, American dream be damned There s an element of dark humor and satire here which I loved, he s been hurt and is willing to air a lot of dirty laund [...]

    4. 4.5 starsIn his book Excellent Sheep, William Deresiewicz shows what the elite schools of the United States lack the ability to produce free thinking students and independent minds He provides insight from his own experience as a student and graduate instructor at Columbia, as well as from his years teaching English at Yale His critique blends how the current system of education reinforces class structure, how the lack of rigor at top schools prevents real learning, and how the race to get into [...]

    5. Worth a read, but is really a good magazine article stretched into a meandering book that s ok, idea books these days are My suggestion is read the Part 1 Why our colleges are filled with overstressed, well trained, bland, rich kids and Part 4 Why these same people are doing such a crappy job of running the world You can skip the middle Why we need to read, why humanities matter, and why having a soul matters, and no our college system doesn t help you do that very much I assumed that was obviou [...]

    6. Full disclosure I am going to like any book that claims that the way to a better society is for people to become English majors I did in fact find myself agreeing with most of Deresiewicz s critiques of elitism in higher education The admissions process at selective universities drives a meritocracy that has already privileged kids competing with each other from a very early age to secure an artificially scarce spot at the most presitious schools where prestiige is dubiosly defined by being the [...]

    7. Dennis slogs into my therapy office at about 5 30 in the afternoon, looking worse for the wear and tear He s a good looking 33 year old guy, nattily dressed in his bespoke suit, but his face and body sags.He sits down and says, I ve done nothing to improve my lot this week I ve had to work till two in the morning every day I haven t even been able to think about anything else Dennis makes a lot of money working for a venture capital firm, but he hates his job He s got a boss who seems to know ho [...]

    8. First things first, I must declare a massive bias here because I come from a most distinguished flock of excellent sheep Eat your heart out Amy Chua, my mom and dad George and Effie Tolis of Athens, Greece clocked 15.5 years of Harvard tuition between their three offspring My brother additionally spent 6 years at a lesser institution in New Haven, but has meantime somewhat redeemed himself he teaches at Harvard these days You have been warned, I am writing with considerable bias On the other han [...]

    9. The vengeful scream of a former instructor at Yale denied tenure, he suddenly discovers that the entire education system to which he has devoted his professional life is not worth the paper on which his Ivy League degrees are printed A ridiculously overbroad attack on elite education, this book ranges from parenting advice you don t want to opinions on politics, economics, religion, life philosophy, the right books to read, and of course, education In fact, there really isn t any subject that th [...]

    10. The first part of the book was thoroughly depressing Part 2 leads you to believe there is hope particularly if your child is someone that actually likes and desires and education Part 3 is unrealistic but probably the only possible solution I see much of what is going on in college also happening in high school particularly the grade inflation, excessive extra curricular activities with no real purpose other than to build a resume and lack of coherence in the curriculum No one seems to have thou [...]

    11. 6 Stars Massive game changing book alert Neo s equivalent of the red pill he takes from Morpheus In a nutshell the book is a scathing and at time beautifully worded vitriolic attack against some of the causes of the shite that s going on in the world at the moment William insinuates that a lot of the world s problems are due to the drumbeat that we have created in the west of brainless and unanalytical study in schools designed and built to ensure that the best minds often the most privileged ge [...]

    12. The rating reflects my distaste for the subjects of the book, not its execution Deresiewicz defends liberal arts education in a cogent manner The final section of the book could be ready profitably on its own The content s not surprising to anyone who s been following the discussion of the value of a liberal arts education in a STEM obsessed world critical thinking is important than specialization, the great books are great books for a reason and Deresiewicz doesn t confuse that with the neo co [...]

    13. As diagnosis, this book is outstanding Elite education for America s elite has become a vast exercise in getting our high achieving students all dressed up for the ball, and then never actually hiring a band for the event Superbly equipped for just about anything, except knowledge of what an education is for, these incarnate high SAT scores on stilts wander aimlessly around the Ivy League campuses, not quite sure what they are there for This book really is a stunning indictment of the status quo [...]

    14. This is a classic magazine article as book you could read just the first and fourth sections, or his original essay and get better than the gist of it, but I still didn t mind reading the longer version since it s short and he s a lively writer The main idea is that admission to the Ivy League and a handful of other schools e.g Stanford, Williams has become so competitive that their students have become overachieving, risk averse, purposeless automatons who go from elite high schools through the [...]

    15. First, I will preface this review by saying, I m not the target audience for this book Here s my problem with this book The author has some strong opinions, and that is what this book isges of opinions Which is fine, as long as your not passing it off as factual or as long as you are not slamming other people This book did both of those thingsny times It was hard to get into this, with all the ax grinding going on The author is so anti ivy league, it was becoming quite comical The target audienc [...]

    16. In some ways, William Deresiewicz seems like a throwback He wants to restore the virtues and resources of liberal arts teaching in colleges throughout the country, and he spends the first part of his book castigating the system America has developed for pressuring top students to pass test after test to get themselves into one of the elite schools and then their lack of real exploration and learning once they are there.He is in some ways a child of Alan Bloom, but he does not advocate for a grea [...]

    17. This is a meandering book There are parts where Deresiewicz has good points and he makes them with great and forceful writing These are the parts where he shows how self serving the country s elite have become And then there are parts where he sounds just like the elite that he s berating, many times showing the same tunneled vision that he accuses them of He seems to have contempt for giving consideration to earning a living while choosing one s education field Sorry, but not everyone has the p [...]

    18. I loved Deresiewicz s book on Jane Austen It felt like drinking tea with a friend, talking about what really matters in life This book is different It is angry and occasionally strident.In many ways, there is nothing new in this book As long as there has been an educational system, there have been people interested in credentialism than in learning It even comes up in Pride and Prejudice, when they discuss what it means to be accomplished Deresiewicz described this aspect of the human condition [...]

    19. This is not just a criticism of elite education, but a stinging indictment of elitism in general, and everything stemming from it By elite the author doesn t mean pointy headed academics or liberals, but the upper echelons of our society and all cohort of people who went to selective colleges and are now running society for their own exclusive benefit He begins by taking aim at people who slander a liberal arts education and who believe that college is a place for professional occupation trainin [...]

    20. He s very worried about Millennial young people Are they stressed than other young collage aged kids Are the Upper class and Upper middle class young adults at riskme how I don t know these people, being a lower middle class Midwesterner I feel like this is a scare book for the 1%, or maybe East Coasters who aspire to the 1% I had hoped for social insight, but this is not a compilation of hard research and data Basically he got a lot of letters from worried students, and compiled their complai [...]

    21. Once, we dreamed of eradicating poverty, winning the Cold War, reaching the moon, ensuring racial justice, creating a equitable society Now what So much freedom So much wealth and power Such technological sophistication But in the end, to what end I don t know, boy You tell me.

    22. I browsed through others thoughtful reviews and i do see the counterpoints worth considering However, there are few key points brought beautifully by the author which resonates powerfully with me The necessity of liberal arts education, the real education, not just education to get a high paying job and social status, but to be a responsible citizen of the world The importance of critical thinking, passionate weirdos, reflection, changing beliefs The meaning of the time spent during university b [...]

    23. I wish I had read this earlier on, maybe in high school But perhaps I wouldn t have been as well poised to understand and relate to the text as I am now Deresciewicz is a professor from Yale who has thought long and hard about the elite college education system here in America and argues the system is polluting our minds and obstructing our ways to meaningful lives see title of book The book first recounts the history of the college system and how we ve arrived at the shambles of institutions we [...]

    24. Of the handful of books I ve read about college prep and the state of education at today s elite American colleges and universities I d say this is the best of the bunch It s certainly the most honest.Deresiewicz is a cauldron of strong opinions, tight and compelling arguments, arrogance, funny ideas and conscientious mentorship There s absolutely nothing mushy about his approach to any subject He s a skeptic, a thinker, a critic and he encourages college students to think, doubt, question, chal [...]

    25. This is an important book about a disturbing trend high school students are jumping through hoop after hoop to reach college, only to find themselves disaffected, depressed, and disconnected from their own emotions and psychological selves, including their interests and passions, after they arrive They have tremendous intellectual horse power, a great work ethic, and no clue of what fascinates or engages them He holds the system accountable primarily the college admissions process which, in the [...]

    26. Brilliantly written, fun to read, utterly damning Very critical of race to the top winner take all mentalities Emphasizes the need for college students to be truly educated, not trained to learn, not to be good at doing school to be comfortable with failure, in short to discover oneself A must read, and must reread

    27. This is a challenge to higher education and the absurd lengths parents and children go to earn their place at the top rated institutions It is also much The author was an English prof at Yale and makes a profound defense of the humanities and the benefits of a classical education In an increasingly secular society, humanities take the place of religion as the way we approach questions of love, death, family, morality, time, truth, God A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us, said Ka [...]

    28. This book gave me a lot to think about Wish I d read it much earlier On a personal level, it s making me question career choices and treasure my exploratory time in grad school From a high level, Deresiewicz exposes how the education system is rigged to perpetuate inequalities to the detriment of everyone He calls for the meritocratic elites to self overcome , citing many reasons to change the system Appealing to the selfish You think you re screwing other people s kids, but you also end up fuck [...]

    29. I am enjoying this thus far, which surprises me because I read the author s article of the same subject matter and found it banal in terms of its vulgar treatment of millennial entitlement If I had a coin for every adult on the internet who incautiously blathers on about the many faults of my generation I would be very wealthy indeed Ah, but we are too lazy and absorbed in electronics, or citing Deteresiewicz we are efficient but too mechanical and soulless Too much or too little Jump through h [...]

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