Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite and the Way to a Meaningful Life by William Deresiewicz. Published by Free Press, reprint 2015. $9.50 paperback, 256 pages. ISBN-13 978-1476702728
College graduates be warned; you may not have actually learned the skills you should while in school! For Ivy League professor William Deresiewicz, there are two big questions that these elite college graduates should be able to answer: how to think critically and creatively, and how to find a sense of purpose. His thesis is that the elite colleges are turning out conformists (sheep) that have no internal compass. Deresiewicz argues that for the students who have the demands of perfect grades, well-rounded admissions, and the shift from the humanities to more “practical” subjects, the ability to think independently is being lost. His belief that college should be a time for self-discovery and forging paths of success is apparent in his writings.