The Years That Matter Most: How College Makes or Breaks Us (Hardcover)

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Description


The best-selling author of How Children Succeed returns with a devastatingly powerful, mind-changing inquiry into higher education in the United States
 
Does college work? Does it provide real opportunity for young people who want to improve themselves and their prospects? Or is it simply a rigged game designed to protect the elites who have power and exclude everyone else?  For many of us, our doubts and resentments about higher education live side by side with an appreciation, even a yearning, for the life-changing personal transformation that a college education can provide. 
 
In these pages, you will meet young people making their way through this system, with joy and frustration and sorrow: deciding how and where to apply, cramming for the SAT, braving a strange new campus, negotiating changing family relationships, and trying to find the resilience to recover from setbacks and downturns.
 
You’ll encounter the individuals who, behind the scenes, make higher education go: from an SAT tutor hacking the test and his students’ stressed-out brains to a calculus professor turning potential drop-outs into math majors. And you’ll see the many shapes that college in America takes today, from Ivy League seminar rooms to community college welding shops; from giant public flagships to tiny, innovative experiments in urban storefronts.
 
The Years That Matter Most will shake you up, it will inspire and enrage you, and it will make you think differently about who we are as a country – and whether the American dream of opportunity and mobility is still worthy of our faith.

About the Author


PAUL TOUGH is the author of Helping Children Succeed and How Children Succeed, which spent more than a year on the New York Times hardcover and paperback bestseller lists and was translated into twenty-eight languages. He is also the author of Whatever It Takes: Geoffrey Canada’s Quest to Change Harlem and America.He is a contributing writer to the New York Times Magazine and a regular contributor to the public-radio program This American Life. You can learn more about his work at paultough.com and follow him on Twitter @paultough.

Praise For…


“Paul Tough is a thinker to cherish: formidably clear-eyed, incandescently learned, and unshakably hopeful. Diving deep into the rewards, challenges, and perils of the American university system, The Years That Matter Most reveals the heavy price a society pays when it no longer pulls together to give its young people the education they need. An extraordinary, indispensable book.”
—Junot Diaz, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

“Gorgeously reported. Vividly written. Utterly lucid. Paul Tough jumps skillfully between deeply engaging personal narratives and the bigger truths of higher education. The way he tells the stories of these students, it’s impossible not to care about them and get angry on their behalf.”
—Ira Glass, host, This American Life

“Paul Tough’s daring The Years That Matter Most forces us to unfold the suffering built into the creases of American higher education. It refuses to let us forget about the bodies and lives of real students. It should be necessary reading for every student, professor, administrator, and trustee in this country interested in what radical revision looks like.”
—Kiese Laymon, author of Heavy: An American Memoir

“Paul Tough is a beautiful reporter and writer and a deeply moral guide to understanding the situation of children in our heartless meritocracy. The Years That Matter Most is a great book that should start a necessary conversation about the high cost of the race to the top.”
—George Packer, author of The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America and Our Man: Richard Holbrooke and the End of the American Century


Product Details
ISBN: 9780544944480
ISBN-10: 0544944488
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication Date: September 10th, 2019
Pages: 400