The Right Coast

November 08, 2005
Brooks on The Chosen
By Mike Rappaport

David Brooks reviews the new book, The Chosen: The Hidden History of Admission and Exclusion at Harvard, Yale, and Princeton. The book details the transformation of these schools from bastions of the Wasp elite to institutions dominated by a more academic ideal. Here is excerpt:

When they arrived on campus, these scions of the Protestant Establishment didn't concern themselves overly much with academics. Their main proving grounds were extracurricular activities and social life. Positioning themselves to edit the school paper or join the right secret society, they strove to establish their social worth and to prove how much they embodied the virtues of the Harvard Man, the Yale Man or the Princeton Man. That meant being effortlessly athletic, charismatic, fair, brave, modest and, above all, a leader of men.