Tag Archives: Book Review

Summer Reading: Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite

There is a lot to like and dislike in Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite & The Way to a Meaningful Life by William Deresiewicz.  The title pretty much sums it up.  What’s thoughtful is also trite and/or an overstatement. Deresiewicz, a former Yale prof who didn’t get tenure, looks on students at […]

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How to Write a Book of the Year

Joyce King, President of AERA, asked me to fill a vacant position on one of the association’s many committees.  I can’t say no to Joyce, so I found myself on AERA’s “Book of the Year” committee.  I had never sat on the committee before so I didn’t know what I was in for until 56 […]

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Book Review: The Tyranny of Meritocracy

I read this and you don’t need to. I approached this book with a great deal of anticipation.  The idea of “merit” is an important notion in American higher education, and Lani Guinier is one of our country’s most thoughtful legal scholars.  The concise 160 page book is also published by Beacon Press so I […]

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Will the Circle be Unbroken?

One of the better novels I have read in the last several months is Dave Eggers’ The Circle. Eggers came onto the stage with a great book, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, which was a memoir. This guy is a dynamo – novels, non-profits, community activist, and thinker. The Circle is a superb good […]

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Book Review: The Teacher Wars – Dana Goldstein (I read this and you should, too.)

As a first-year PhD student at Stanford we all had to take a course whose title I forget but was taught by David Tyack.  It was a superb seminar largely because David had us read primary texts and Tyack was a phenomenal teacher.  In a quiet, conversational, engaging and funny manner David had us read […]

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Book Review: The App Generation by Howard Gardner and Katie Davis

I read this and I suppose you should, too. The App Generation: How Today’s Youth Navigate Identity, Intimacy, and Imagination in a Digital World, by Howard Gardner and Katie Davis, is a breezy, easy to read small-sized 244 page book.  Since I’m recommending it, let me offer three quarrels I have with the authors at […]

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The Experience Economy: The Good

A book by Joseph Pine and James Gilmore, The Experience Economy, is the most recent text to sweep the business world and make its way into higher education.   The authors make the very admirable point that the consumer wants more than a ‘good.’  Consumers want experiences.   An obvious example is the shopping mall.  We created […]

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I Read This and You Probably Should Too: The Entrepreneurial State

The Entrepreneurial State: Debunking Public vs. Private Sector Myths by Mariana Mazzucato is not a sizzler that will keep you awake until you find out how it turns out. She’s an economist so the prose is workmanlike and the text can be excruciatingly dull—until you consider the ramifications of her argument. Remember Elizabeth Warren’s “you […]

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I Read This Book and You Can If You Want To: “These Kids: Identity, Agency, and Social Justice at a Last Chance High School” by Kysa Nygreen

I approached this 217-page book with a fair amount of hope but finished it disappointed. Any book, especially an academic text, can be a disappointment and yet the text can be a learning experience. If I were to suggest that someone read this book I would probably recommend it for its flaws rather than its […]

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I Read This Book and You Have To: It’s Complicated

It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens by danah boyd is a fun, thoughtful, essential book to read for anyone who is trying to make sense of how teenagers make use of social media. Her narrative voice is great; from page 1 until the end of the book 213 pages later, the reader has […]

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