• The Inequality Machine

  • How College Divides Us
  • By: Paul Tough
  • Narrated by: Paul Tough
  • Length: 12 hrs and 29 mins
  • 5.0 out of 5 stars (28 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

First published as The Years That Matter Most

From best-selling author Paul Tough, an indelible and explosive book on the glaring injustices of higher education, including unfair admissions tests, entrenched racial barriers, and crushing student debt. Now updated and expanded for the pandemic era.

When higher education works the way it’s supposed to, there is no better tool for social mobility - for lifting young people out of challenging circumstances and into the middle class and beyond. In reality, though, American colleges and universities have become the ultimate tool of social immobility - a system that secures a comfortable future for the children of the wealthy while throwing roadblocks in the way of students from struggling families.

Combining vivid and powerful personal stories with deep, authoritative reporting, Paul Tough explains how we got into this mess and explores the innovative reforms that might get us out. Tough examines the systemic racism that pervades American higher education, shows exactly how the SATs give an unfair advantage to wealthy students, and guides listeners from Ivy League seminar rooms to the welding shop at a rural community college. At every stop, he introduces us to young Americans yearning for a better life - and praying that a college education might help them get there.

With a new preface and afterword by the author exposing how the coronavirus pandemic has shaken the higher education system anew.​

Read by the author.  

©2019 Paul Tough (P)2019 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about The Inequality Machine

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A must-read/listen!

The sharing of research findings and stories of students, administrators, and teachers are the perfect combination for such an impactful book.

1 person found this helpful

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Missed opportunity

Overall this book has good insight into the inequality found within the US in regards to higher Ed. The author meanders through stories when I wished he would have focused more on data - which is peppered throughout the book. The missed opportunity, and frankly bizarre ending to this book was the last chapter on the GI Bill. Not only does this chapter feel out of place, the author of this “inequality” book fails to even reference the inequality that took place with veterans of color with the GI Bill. This major miss calls into question what else the author failed to include in the rest of the text.