Reviews of Higher Education by Andrew Hacker '51





New York Times Review

Wall Street Journal



  •  “It’s a courageous indictment of our system of higher education itself -- with its outrageous costs and diminishing promise of a secure future for those who have the stamina to graduate. I am grateful to Andrew Hacker and Claudia Dreifus for daring to say what needs to be said.”--Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Nickel and Dimed in America. 
  • Higher Education? is the most informative and readable book on the subject that I have ever read. Writing in a lively and engaging style, Andrew Hacker and Claudia Dreifus demystify a subject that is usually cloaked in academic jargon. Their analysis is sharp and their solutions to the problem of the escalating cost of higher education are sensible. I recommend this book to everyone who cares about the quality and accessibility of college education.”--Diane Ravitch, author of The Death and Life of the Great American School System
  • “Andrew Hacker and Claudia Dreifus are sure to stir a badly needed uproar in the world of higher education. They make their argument so gracefully, with so much mischievous delight and understated humor, and undergirded by so broad a base of data and compelling reportage, that even the most furious defenders of the status quo will not be able to ignore this book and the outrage it most certainly will stir.”--Jonathan Kozol, author of Savage Inequalities and Letters to a Young Teacher
  • “A timely and provocative book about a subject that affects all of us. Higher Education? is a thoroughly researched and welcome addition to the debate.”--Joseph E. Stiglitz, Nobel laureate in economics 
  • Higher Education? stands out with facts, figures, and probing analysis. Andrew Hacker and Claudia Dreifus clearly lay out why so many colleges and universities are helping to support a de facto American class system while failing their primary mission of preparing not only skilled labor but also producing educated, knowledgeable citizens who can play a role advancing our national life and strengthening our democracy. This is a thought-provoking book that I hope will generate serious national debate.”--Vartan Gregorian, president, Carnegie Corporation of New York
  • Higher Education? raises piercing questions about how a respected sector of our society is failing our young people. Andrew Hacker and Claudia Dreifus unsparingly show where our colleges and universities have lost their principles and purpose.  This book will spark a national debate that has been lacking, but is nonetheless essential.”--The Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, president emeritus, University of Notre Dame


  • “Hacker and Dreifus take no prisoners in their blistering attack on American colleges and universities... Don't read this book the night before you drive the little darling to that pricey private college, because you might cancel the trip.”--USA Today 
  • “Andrew Hacker and Claudia Dreifus have written a lucid, passionate and wide-ranging book on the state of American higher education and what they perceive as its increasing betrayal of its primary mission. . . . In a series of well-structured and strongly argued chapters, the book [poses] searching and sometimes troubling questions.”--The New York Times
  •  “A powerful indictment of academic careerism. The authors are not shy about making biting judgments along the way… Higher education may be heading for a reckoning.”—The Wall Street Journal 
  • “Andrew Hacker and Claudia Dreifus lay out the indictment of the nonprofit establishment in their eye-opening new book, Higher Education?”—The Washington Post  
  •  “The Bottom Line: Hacker and Dreifus offer one of the best critiques yet of what is wrong and right about college in America today.”—BloombergBusinessWeek 
  • “A damning indictment of our colleges and universities you can’t afford not to read. . .   Hacker and Dreifus have reignited the debate over what exactly we expect from a college degree... The authors have supreme insight into the higher-education industry and their writing exudes experience.”--The Daily Beast 
  • “Andrew Hacker and Claudia Dreifus have written a scathing populist attack on higher education that has something for everyone…"—The New Republic
  • “Until now no one has deconstructed the entire college and university system from the Ivy League to TV-touted trade schools, which Andrew Hacker and Claudia Dreifus have just done in a new, brief volume that makes hamburger out of a herd of academia’s sacred cows.”—Chicago Daily Observer
  • “American students are being neglected by celebrity professors, shortchanged by rising tuitions, and led astray by college football… A fierce critique of modern academia.”—The 
  • “Compelling… Hacker and Dreifus are determined to challenge conventional wisdom and shake up the educational establishment. Higher Education? has the great virtue of challenging the status quo complacency inside academia. They are right to put a question mark in the title of their book… Impressive.”—Tulsa World “ 
  • "Anyone who has been to college or has children about to enroll should read this sometimes shocking and endlessly interesting account of the true state of academic affairs. -- Library Journal 
  • "The book has been getting a great deal of attention -- and deserves it." -- National Review
  • "Crisp, well-documented, and quietly passionate." -- Buffalo News
  • "Hacker and Dreifus effectively, and wittily, present...practical solutions to the college conundrum.-- Kirkus Reviews
  • "Enthralling." -- Discover Magazine           
  • "Dyspeptic"-- The New Yorker