Steven Brill’s book: Tailspin

I am reading it now. I did not realize that he would write about two of my favorite higher education institutions: Amherst College and UC Irvine, both in the context of bridging the moats that currently exclude many (if not most) from the benefits of 21st century American meritocracy. Amherst, because its former President, Anthony Marx, put in place a program to actively reach out beyond the usual legacies and elite high schools in its recruitment of freshman. UC Irvine, because like my own institution (George Mason), it has focused on educating bright students who are from under-represented backgrounds. And by that I mean backgrounds that historically have not had access to the top-flight resources that a UC education is all about. Reason to be a bit optimistic.

On the other hand, Brill really focuses on the legal and financial ecosystems, what he calls the Casino Economy. I wish he also wrote more about scientists and engineers in the same context of the American meritocracy.