Listen free for 30 days

  • After the Ivory Tower Falls

  • How College Broke the American Dream and Blew Up Our Politics—and How to Fix It
  • By: Will Bunch
  • Narrated by: Fred Sanders
  • Length: 11 hrs and 12 mins
  • 4.0 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

One credit a month, good for any title to download and keep.
Unlimited listening to the Plus Catalogue - thousands of select Audible Originals, podcasts and audiobooks.
Exclusive member-only deals.
No commitment - cancel anytime.
Buy Now for £29.29

Buy Now for £29.29

Pay using card ending in
By completing your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and authorise Audible to charge your designated card or any other card on file. Please see our Privacy Notice, Cookies Notice and Interest-based Ads Notice.

Summary

From Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Will Bunch, the epic untold story of college—the great political and cultural fault line of American life

"This book is simply terrific."—Heather Cox Richardson, publisher of the "Letters from an American" Substack

"A must-read."—Nancy MacLean, author of Democracy in Chains

Today there are two Americas, separate and unequal, one educated and one not. And these two tribes—the resentful “non-college” crowd and their diploma-bearing yet increasingly disillusioned adversaries—seem on the brink of a civil war. The strongest determinant of whether a voter was likely to support Donald Trump in 2016 was whether or not they attended college, and the degree of loathing they reported feeling toward the so-called “knowledge economy" of clustered, educated elites. Somewhere in the winding last half-century of the United States, the quest for a college diploma devolved from being proof of America’s commitment to learning, science, and social mobility into a kind of Hunger Games contest to the death. That quest has infuriated both the millions who got shut out and millions who got into deep debt to stay afloat.

In After the Ivory Tower Falls, award-winning journalist Will Bunch embarks on a deeply reported journey to the heart of the American Dream. That journey begins in Gambier, Ohio, home to affluent, liberal Kenyon College, a tiny speck of Democratic blue amidst the vast red swath of white, post-industrial, rural midwestern America. To understand “the college question,” there is no better entry point than Gambier, where a world-class institution caters to elite students amidst a sea of economic despair.

From there, Bunch traces the history of college in the U.S., beginning with the first technical schools, through the landmark GI Bill, and the culture wars of the 60’s and 70’s, which found their start on college campuses. We see how resentment of college-educated elites morphed into a rejection of knowledge itself—and how the explosion in student loan debt fueled major social movements like Occupy Wall Street. Bunch then takes a question we need to ask all over again—what, and who, is college even for?—and pushes it into the 21st century by proposing a new model that works for all Americans.

The sum total is a stunning work of journalism, one that lays bare the root of our political, cultural, and economic division—and charts a path forward for America.

©2022 Will Bunch (P)2022 HarperCollins Publishers

More from the same

What listeners say about After the Ivory Tower Falls

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    0
  • 4 Stars
    1
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 0 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    0
  • 4 Stars
    0
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 0 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    0
  • 4 Stars
    0
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

No Reviews are Available
Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Brian Burke
  • Brian Burke
  • 04-09-22

Power to the people, for the people, by the people.

This is an important and fascinating history of what it truly means for our youth to serve our country.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Jeanne Purser
  • Jeanne Purser
  • 21-08-22

Excellent analysis of what ails the US

Will Bunch paints an accurate picture of higher education today and what's needed to prepare our young Americans for the future and a stronger country. If only congress and 'we the people 'will listen and act.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Nicole
  • Nicole
  • 19-08-22

A MUST “HEAR”!

I learned so much from this book. Having moved here from Europe only in 1987 (though I am American) it taught me a lot about the History of our Higher Education System over the last 75 years. This helped me better understand how we became such a divided Nation. I very much like his suggestions of how we could fix our Higher Ed System and maybe, maybe bring the “right” and “left” closer together to find solutions to fight emprisonnent, drug abuse and enormous debt of the young in this country. We are in this together. We need to do this together as a Nation, without always pointing fingers to the other party and blaming each other. A must read (or hear on Audible!).

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Doug
  • Doug
  • 13-08-22

Thought provoking

I heard an interview on NPR about this book, having been a victim of predatory for profit college lending it piqued my interest. I’ve got to say, a well written and excellent dive into the higher education system and all of its issues.

It can be easy listening to feel like this is a left slanted book criticizing the right, however it isn’t.

The book masterfully ties everything together as it comes to an end. It really does a great job showing you the real issues that we’re facing.

Worth the listen!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Kenyon
  • Kenyon
  • 07-08-22

Enlightening

The author chronicles the changes that have taken place in the educational system in the United States over the past century and describes how these changes have helped create the sharp political divisions that are currently paralyzing our country. The author has recommendations for a path forward.