Educational institutions constitute a ""semi-autonomous enclave"" whose internal relations can be seen as ""contractual obligations"" based on ""transactions"" with ""prestige"" rather than learning as the students' goal. Direct criticism of these half-truths seems otiose inasmuch as Matlin is less interested in serious argument than in phrase-turning in a self-consciously Veblenish manner. His mock-detachment makes for some dry wit and a lot of pompous labor (officials' generosity. ""is given wider scope by virtue of the fact that the monies dispersed are not their own""). Given Matlin's lack of fundamental concern with his subject matte, as indicated by his casual treatment of earning power and technical knowledge in relation to prestige, he would have done better to confine himself to exposing the pretensions of educational theory without longwinded pursuit of his own. Educators may enjoy the book, but most potential readers will be disappointed to find that Matlin simply excludes student revolt from discussion as ""a power struggle"" by definition irrelevant to his analysis of institutional ""coercive bargaining.