MOST LIKELY TO SUCEED: Six Women from Harvard and What Became of Them by Fran Schumer

MOST LIKELY TO SUCEED: Six Women from Harvard and What Became of Them

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A retrospective look at life at Radcliffe for six ""Cliffies,"" followed by glimpses of what became of them. What binds the volume is Schumer's involvement. She is one of the six and writes about the five women who in one way or another became part of her life in the early 70's at Cambridge. This allows for in-depth analysis on the author's part, but conversely lends the book the air of soap opera, with the emphasis on the soap. The book is divided into two sections, ""Girls"" and ""Women."" In the first, Schumer takes us on a journey through those four years at Radcliffe (heavily dosed with psychoanalysis--""Jewish Graduate School '). There we meet a cast of characters who appear destined for greatness (their stature is reduced somewhat by Schumer's caveat that the people of whom she writes are composites of many people she knew there). Most of Schumer's connections center around The Crimson, that breeding ground of a journalistic and literary elite, and some end up, when she revisits them 10 years later, with best-sellers and major magazine pieces to their credit. Unfortunately, they also end up with suicide, disastrous affairs, tense marriages, and--in Schumer's case--alternating bouts of anorexia and bulimia. Just what all of this has to do with Harvard is not clear, which is the main quibble with this volume. Reading it, one feels that any college could easily yield a similar cast. Schumer's is a tale of a spoiled, pampered lot who are so far above the daily grind of the real world that once in it, their coping takes the form self-analysis so debilitating that it leaves the reader crying out, ""Please, get on with your life!"" Not nearly as satisfying as Whatever Happened to the Class of '64 or Class Reunion.

Pub Date: Feb. 2nd, 1986
Publisher: Random House