Andrew Ferguson, author of Crazy U: One Dad's Crash Course in Getting His Kid Into College, sat down with Peter Robinson to discuss his book on Uncommon Knowledge:
Journalist Andrew Ferguson, senior editor at the Weekly Standard and author of “Land of Lincoln,” has written a perfect book: it makes you laugh and makes you think. His two-year “crash course” ends with his son entering college, but getting there is both all and none of the fun.
Ferguson’s tale is a case study of “college mania,” an affliction of the upper-middle class that, he admits, is a ritual born of affluence that he and his family are lucky to have. At the same time, the frenzied scramble to get into a selective college seems utterly irrational, not to mention absurd, sadistic, masochistic, and exhausting. As an anthropological “participant/observer,” Ferguson strikes just the right wry, skeptical, often hilarious, notes....
With unfailing humor, Ferguson pointedly explores college rankings, the SAT, “College Confidential,” FAFSA and EFC, and what happens when similarly obsessed parents (“the Kitchen People”) get together. His book’s continued relevance is certain. Although the fat and thin envelopes of decision have gone out to this year’s applicants, the spin cycle has already begun for the next batch. Where it will stop, nobody knows.