Who gets into college, who doesn’t, and why does it matter? Based on six years of reporting, education speaker Paul Tough’s hotly-anticipated new book explores how social mobility affects higher education—and what this means for America’s future generations.
In The Years That Matter Most, Tough shares true stories of students trying to find their way through the application process and into college, to paint a larger picture of the ways privilege affects higher education. For generations, college has been the single best way for young Americans to improve their station in life. But now, there are plenty of signs now that the system isn’t what it used to be. Why doesn’t higher education work the way it used to, and what does this mean for the country’s youth—and the nation at large?
Taking readers from Ivy Leagues to community colleges and everywhere in between, Tough explores whether the American post-secondary system is designed to protect the privileged and leave everyone else behind—or, if a college education today can still provide opportunity to youth seeking to improve their station in life. Called “a powerful reckoning with just how far we’ve allowed reality to drift from our ideals” by The New York Times, and “vividly written” and “utterly lucid” by This American Life host Ira Glass, The Years That Matter Most challenges the status quo, revealing how privilege actually affects access to higher education, and what we can do to make it more equitable for all.
Read an excerpt of The Years That Matter Most here.
To book speaker Paul Tough, contact his exclusive speakers bureau, The Lavin Agency.