(p. A11) . . . “Excellent Sheep” is a cri de coeur against the credentials arms-race that now defines young adulthood–and even childhood–for many Americans. But you don’t have to take his word for it: The book features interviews and correspondence with students and recent graduates of elite institutions. Beyond their glowing transcripts and the fact that they have become “accomplished adult-wranglers,” these students are anxious, depressed and searching for some deeper meaning in their lives. “For many students, rising to the absolute top means being consumed by the system. I’ve seen my peers sacrifice health, relationships, exploration, activities that can’t be quantified and are essential for developing souls and hearts, for grades and resume building,” one Stanford student told the author. A Yalie put it more succinctly: “I might be miserable, but were I not miserable, I wouldn’t be at Yale.”
For the full review, see:
EMILY ESFAHANI SMITH. “BOOKSHELF; The Credentials Arms-Race; Students sacrifice all to grades and resume building–‘I might be miserable,’ a Yalie noted, ‘but were I not miserable, I wouldn’t be at Yale.’.” The Wall Street Journal (Thurs., Aug. 21, 2014): A11.
(Note: ellipsis added.)
(Note: the online version of the review has the date Aug. 20, 2014, and has the title “BOOKSHELF; Book Review: ‘Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite’ by William Deresiewicz; Students sacrifice all to grades and resume building–‘I might be miserable,’ a Yalie noted, ‘but were I not miserable, I wouldn’t be at Yale.’.”)
The book under review is:
Deresiewicz, William. Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite and the Way to a Meaningful Life. New York, NY: Free Press, 2014.