Tag Archives: book review

Roth in NYTimes: “Maintain Robust Financial Aid Programs and End Steep Rise of Tuition”

In case you haven’t gotten enough Roth News, here’s some more! Last Friday, June 8th, President Roth wrote a book review for the New York Times on College: What It Was, Is, and Should Be, a book by Columbia University professor and 2011 National Humanities Medal recipient Andrew Delbanco. It discusses the history of American colleges and warns readers that higher education is increasingly becoming a privilege for the wealthy.

In his book, Delbanco claims that the “traditional four-year college experience—an exploratory time for students to discover their passions and test ideas and values with the help of teachers and peers—is in danger of becoming a thing of the past.” In Roth’s own words:

At a time when many are trying to reduce the college years to a training period for economic competition, Delbanco reminds readers of the ideal of democratic education.

Roth explains some aspects of this “ideal” by highlighting colleges’ original role in character formation and offering a communal learning experience to its students.  In reiterating Delbanco’s points, Roth further claims that “the so-called meritocracy in admissions is increasingly an excuse for reproducing economic inequality” in today’s elite institutions.

Unferth is Your New Che

This past Saturday’s edition of the New York Times Book Review contains a fascinating treatment of English professor Deb Olin Unferth‘s latest work, a memoir entitled Revolution: The Year I Fell in Love and Went to Join the War (Henry Holt).  Unferth is perhaps best known for her fiction, which has graced the renowned pages of Harper’s, NOON, Agni, and The Boston Review, among others. Her limpid, glowing sentences and beautifully unmoored narration have attracted such followers as Diane Williams, Aimee Bender, Sam Lipsyte, and Gary Shteyngart, all of whom lauded her debut novel Vacation as a remarkable work.

If such high esteem was insufficient, Unferth was also a 2011 Pushcart Prize recipient. Her story “Pet”, which she debuted at a Russell House reading in the fall semester of ’09, was published in NOON and then anthologized in the Pushcart Press’s latest installment of the series (it can be purchased here).