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The Ivy League Hardcover – March 27, 2012

4.8 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Daniel Cappello is a writer and editor who has worked on the editorial staffs of George, The New Yorker, and Quest magazines. He is also the founder of 47 Ventures, a creative consulting firm that handles clients in media, politics, design, philanthropy, fashion, and the arts. He received his BA degree in government from Harvard University.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Assouline (March 27, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1614280096
  • ISBN-13: 978-1614280095
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 9 x 12 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #439,881 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Andrew S. Rogers VINE VOICE on November 26, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It may be true, as Daniel Cappello notes in the introduction to this attractive and useful book, that "schools outside the Ivy League, including the so-called 'Ivy Plus' universities (such as Stanford, Duke, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of Chicago), actually provide a more rigorous scholastic experience than their Ivy counterparts." Nevertheless, the Ivy League, he argues, retains "an unquantifiable distinction factor that eludes empirical educational value and worth. ... To some extent, the old-school idea of the Ivy League continues to define it, and is one that Ivy Leaguers still cling to. It is also one that looms large in the popular imagination." It's this "old-school idea," the "unquantifiable distinction factor," that Cappello attempts to define for the Ivy League colleges. He paints what struck me, as admitted outsider who's paid but brief visits to only three of these campuses, as fine individual portraits of eight very different schools, yet also shows what they have in common -- what sets "what might be seen as one of the most successful and singularly American brands" apart from other schools.

Cappello starts with the Big Three: Harvard ("the Ivy's Ivy"), Yale ("the classic Ivy"), and Princeton ("the preppy Ivy"). He then moves on to Brown ("the hip Ivy"), Dartmouth ("the rugged Ivy"), Columbia ("the urbane Ivy"), Penn ("the entrepreneurial Ivy"), and finally Cornell ("the Ivy for every man"). Each chapter is colorfully illustrated with an assortment of historic and contemporary images, including campus landscapes, portraits of alumni and current students, and classic athletic programs. His text not only describes each school's history, but also its current character and distinctiveness.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was pleasantly surprised by this book. It is a brief treatment of each of the Ivy League schools that focuses on each school's distinctive qualities. My alma mater (Pennsylvania) is often either overlooked or ill-regarded due to the dominance of its professional schools, so it was nice to see a fair treatment of Penn that praised the University for her unique qualities. This book is well-written and contains some beautiful photographs. I would highly recommend Mr. Cappello's book to any Ivy League alumnus.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book was written in an interesting manner where the schools are not compared in all of the same categories across the board. If you live in a spreadsheet world as I do, you may prefer to have chapter one for each school to be the same topic such as "campus life", and chapter two "notable graduates" etc. This book seems to focus in on a couple of categories per school. It seemed like Princeton was discussed in their approach to fashion, and secret clubs more than anything else, while Harvard was more about famous attendees, and Cornell on the other hand seemed to be covered on all fronts. That said, Harvard's chapter was much longer than any in the book, and some of the schools were discussed in brief detail. Pictures are great, but really, it seemed like they took up too much space in the book considering that we all have google at our fingertips, and can search campus pictures quite easily. While it was an interesting read, I would have preferred a more in-depth and uniform approach. Also, some of the schools seemed to have a more favorable view than others, and I'm not sure if that's the author's biases, or actual facts. Initially, I felt like Princeton would be a great choice for my daughter, but after reading it's chapter, I'm not so sure. I still feel like I need to do more research on all of these schools after reading this book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Beautifully bound book with great detail about each of the Ivies. Lovely pictures and focus on famous graduates.
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I was pleasantly surprised with the survey of all the Ivy League schools in this amazingly attractive book.

Going to Brown and teaching at Columbia makes this book fun to read. My last sentence ( <- ) was more snobby than the book is. I recommend it to anyone interested in the Ivys, especially for parents thinking about sending their high schooler to an Ivy upon graduation.
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