A revealing and useful guide for the aspiring consumer of higher education.

THE PRICE YOU PAY FOR COLLEGE

AN ENTIRELY NEW ROAD MAP FOR THE BIGGEST FINANCIAL DECISION YOUR FAMILY WILL EVER MAKE

Can you pay for college without being broke until long after retirement? Sure—and this book offers plenty of pointers on how to do so.

Today, attending a top-flight school can cost nearly $350,000. Yet, as New York Times financial columnist Lieber asks, pointedly, “what is the return on investment going to be?” There are other questions: Which schools are better at which disciplines? What kind of financial aid is available? Is your child suited for college? One central question, of course, is why higher education is so expensive. The answers are several, ranging from the recent movement of cash-strapped states to reduce or eliminate education funding to the fact that highly educated people—the tenured professors whom students usually encounter only in their junior or senior years—expect to be paid a decent wage, as do the endless layers of administrators and support staff. Lieber counsels that there are remedies available, though not even a committed high school guidance counselor can possibly know how to navigate them all: A student can go to community college to satisfy basic requirements, for example, though he or she better do the homework to be sure all the credits will transfer to their university of choice. A student can join the military and get GI Bill support. However, writes the author, “anyone considering enlisting in the armed forces for financial reasons alone should please think hard about the uncertainty they’re signing up for.” Perhaps his most important point is that in most instances, college tuition is negotiable and that the worst thing that can happen if you ask for a break is to be told no. But is college worth it? Quite apart from the educational aspect, Lieber holds, the answer to his first question is that the annualized ROI “is about 14 percent.” Given that the stock market is typically half that, it’s not a bad bet.

A revealing and useful guide for the aspiring consumer of higher education.

Pub Date: Jan. 26, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-06-286730-8

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2020

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This guide to Black culture for White people is accessible but rarely easy.

UNCOMFORTABLE CONVERSATIONS WITH A BLACK MAN

A former NFL player casts his gimlet eye on American race relations.

In his first book, Acho, an analyst for Fox Sports who grew up in Dallas as the son of Nigerian immigrants, addresses White readers who have sent him questions about Black history and culture. “My childhood,” he writes, “was one big study abroad in white culture—followed by studying abroad in black culture during college and then during my years in the NFL, which I spent on teams with 80-90 percent black players, each of whom had his own experience of being a person of color in America. Now, I’m fluent in both cultures: black and white.” While the author avoids condescending to readers who already acknowledge their White privilege or understand why it’s unacceptable to use the N-word, he’s also attuned to the sensitive nature of the topic. As such, he has created “a place where questions you may have been afraid to ask get answered.” Acho has a deft touch and a historian’s knack for marshaling facts. He packs a lot into his concise narrative, from an incisive historical breakdown of American racial unrest and violence to the ways of cultural appropriation: Your friend respecting and appreciating Black arts and culture? OK. Kim Kardashian showing off her braids and attributing her sense of style to Bo Derek? Not so much. Within larger chapters, the text, which originated with the author’s online video series with the same title, is neatly organized under helpful headings: “Let’s rewind,” “Let’s get uncomfortable,” “Talk it, walk it.” Acho can be funny, but that’s not his goal—nor is he pedaling gotcha zingers or pleas for headlines. The author delivers exactly what he promises in the title, tackling difficult topics with the depth of an engaged cultural thinker and the style of an experienced wordsmith. Throughout, Acho is a friendly guide, seeking to sow understanding even if it means risking just a little discord.

This guide to Black culture for White people is accessible but rarely easy.

Pub Date: Nov. 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-80046-6

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Flatiron Books

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2020

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Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our...

THINKING, FAST AND SLOW

A psychologist and Nobel Prize winner summarizes and synthesizes the recent decades of research on intuition and systematic thinking.

The author of several scholarly texts, Kahneman (Emeritus Psychology and Public Affairs/Princeton Univ.) now offers general readers not just the findings of psychological research but also a better understanding of how research questions arise and how scholars systematically frame and answer them. He begins with the distinction between System 1 and System 2 mental operations, the former referring to quick, automatic thought, the latter to more effortful, overt thinking. We rely heavily, writes, on System 1, resorting to the higher-energy System 2 only when we need or want to. Kahneman continually refers to System 2 as “lazy”: We don’t want to think rigorously about something. The author then explores the nuances of our two-system minds, showing how they perform in various situations. Psychological experiments have repeatedly revealed that our intuitions are generally wrong, that our assessments are based on biases and that our System 1 hates doubt and despises ambiguity. Kahneman largely avoids jargon; when he does use some (“heuristics,” for example), he argues that such terms really ought to join our everyday vocabulary. He reviews many fundamental concepts in psychology and statistics (regression to the mean, the narrative fallacy, the optimistic bias), showing how they relate to his overall concerns about how we think and why we make the decisions that we do. Some of the later chapters (dealing with risk-taking and statistics and probabilities) are denser than others (some readers may resent such demands on System 2!), but the passages that deal with the economic and political implications of the research are gripping.

Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our minds.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-374-27563-1

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Sept. 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2011

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