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Choosing the Right College: The Whole Truth about America's Top Schools Paperback

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Product Details

  • Series: Choosing the Right College
  • Paperback: 762 pages
  • Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company; 2 Exp Sub edition (April 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080284801X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802848017
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 7 x 1.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #997,480 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

It is well worth the effort.
By Thomas Sowell
I decided to sit down and look at what the book postulates and compare it to what common sense, critical thought, and a little bit of research would yield.
A quote in the Trinity College 'yellow light' review reads, "No doubt about it, Trinity is a liberal college."
High School Senior

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 39 people found the following review helpful By By Thomas Sowell on August 31, 2001
Format: Paperback
August 24, 2001 (in his syndicated newspaper column)
Choosing a college
By Thomas Sowell
About this time every year, high school seniors and their parents start trying to figure out how to choose a college. With application deadlines for some colleges starting as early as this fall for students who want to begin college next fall, there is not a lot of time. When you take into account the lead time needed to apply to take the Scholastic Aptitude Test or the American College Testing Program's exam -- and then the time before the results are tabulated and sent out to the college admissions offices -- there is not much time left, even for those students who are applying for colleges whose deadlines are next January or February.
Nevertheless, a hasty decision can have repercussions that last for years. Campus stresses can lead to psychiatric problems, drug dependency or even suicide. It happens from the Ivy League to Podunk U. One lovely young woman committed suicide by jumping from the building in which I had my office at UCLA and I saw her body in the bushes on my way to work. Another whom I encountered had picked up a devastating drug habit at Harvard.
Much more is involved in choosing a college than whether they have prestigious professors or high SAT scores.
On some campuses, black students will live as segregated a life as in the days of the Jim Crow South, and find other black students resenting them if they spend their time in the library or at the computer lab, instead of in racial breast-beating activities. But the atmosphere is very different on other campuses where students of all races can make education their top priority.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 21, 2002
Format: Paperback
Choosing a college is a tough task--whether you're the student, their parent or their college counselor. This book definitely makes the process easier.
The typical high school junior receives dozens of glossy college viewbooks in the mail from the time they complete their first PSAT throughout their senior year. These viewbooks would have you believe that there's not a college out there that doesn't have very small classes, bright and multi-talented students, professors who are at each student's beck and call, and (let's not forget the classic) a class or two held outdoors, preferably with a beach nearby.
While the picture is a pretty one, it's not complete. This book clues you in about what education is really like at some of the nation's most revered colleges and universities. The editors approach the book from the viewpoint that a classic liberal arts undergraduate education is the most valuable to the individual and society so their natural focus is on how well this type of education is provided at various institutions. A classic liberal arts education highlights Western Civilization's developments in math, science and literature and this book's editors are determined in revealing how closely each college's core curriculum reflects that bent.
If, instead, you're looking for a college or university where the dogma is politically correct, where there is no absolute truth and where students call the shots, you might still appreciate reading this book because it is clear in explaining just what campuses feature that type of education.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By David E. Levine on February 10, 2002
Format: Paperback
I like this book for the type of informtion it gives on colleges, such as the political atmosphere and the type of curriculum. Many schools have eliminated core requirements and indeed, some have actually added politically chareged courses as required while eliminating traditional, time tested courses in Western Civilization. The analyses are useful and are very detailed. This is not a quick glimpse into the schools covered, but rather, a detailed description. I graduated from Vassar College years ago and had the impression that it was a bastion of political correctness. The profile in this book bears this out. This guide is truly unique and useful.
I have a major problem with this guide, however. There are many colleges I wanted to read about but they were not included in the book. For example Binghmapton University is covered but none of the other schools in the SUNY system are. There was nothing about several goog schools in Pennsylvania such as Franklin and Marshall, Dickinson, Bucknell, Lehigh, Gettysburg, etc. Ohio State University is covered well but there is nohing on other major schools in Ohio's state system such as Ohio University and Miami University (or for that matter, Universitey of Miami in Florida). The book is good, as far as it goes, but many, if not most of the colleges I was interested in reading about are not profiled.
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27 of 32 people found the following review helpful By David K. Bell on January 3, 2002
Format: Paperback
This college guide is based on what have become on many college campuses today radical premises: 1) There are some important things to learn, and not all college freshmen already know these things (or what they are) before they even get to college; 2) before you criticize, condemn or just ignore all "Western" culture, perhaps you should actually know something about it; 3) colleges should encourage critical thinking and balanced study over simple absorption of commonly accepted points of view; and 4) the First Amendment should be allowed free exercise on college campuses. It does a good job of describing to what extent the colleges profiled in the book fit these premises.
If you haven't followed the changes in the American university in the last 30 years, while you were out some big changes have happened. The confluence of postmodern, poststructuralist theory and radical leftist politics have converted many universities into ideologically-driven intellectual killing fields. The misuse of the PM/PS discoveries of linguistic and cultural contexts to justify "deconstructing" all "truths" except those asserted by whomever is doing the deconstructing have led to the notion that there are no universal truths, only points of view and culturally-relative constructs. Of course, that point of view is asserted to be universally true across all cultures, but never mind. Why is this relevant to choosing a college?
The rise of PM/PS relativism has been used as the intellectual justification to abandon core curricula and the study of Western cultural heritage. If there are no truths, then there are only power elites pushing their culturally constructed points of view.
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