Recognizing that schools bring strangers together, Bergreen (whose background is not given) describes how teachers use authority ""to instruct, probe, demand, dictate,"" and how students, in response, ""learn, whimper, argue and challenge this authority."" With the deck stacked in favor of teachers, Bergreen sets up the challenge: Can the student still come out a winner? In defining types, he stereotypes both teachers and students: the ""brilliant"" teacher must always be right; the ""nonconforming student"" steals for the sake of stealing. Relentlessly didactic, Bergreen offers platitudes (allow yourself to be imperfect; think self-control) with no real assistance towards realizing goals. And some of his comments are astoundingly sour: ""Of course, some school activities are more interesting than others: sports events, dances, assemblies, and even some films and discussions."" Are there no stimulating classes? Or this: ""Don't take ridicule. . .personally. Being baited and even insulted [by the teacher] is all part of school life."" There are occasional useful tips here--e.g., to get along with an ""absent-minded"" teacher, bury your paper in the middle of a stack--it's less likely to get lost; but they're too well buried to be worth digging out. Overall, this was a good idea for a book; someone else should write it. Index.