After the Ivory Tower Falls

By Will Bunch

After the Ivory Tower Falls book cover
Added November 14, 2022

In After the Ivory Tower Falls, Will Bunch, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and national columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer, embarks on a deeply reported journey to the heart of the American Dream. The book opens with the story of a small college town. Gambier, Ohio, is 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," look no further 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 US--from technical schools, to the landmark GI Bill, to the culture wars of the 60's and 70's that found their start on college campuses. He 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 envisioning ways we can invent a new model that works for all Americans. The sum total is an extraordinary book that stands alongside some of the best zeitgeist-explainer works of our time: Strangers in Their Own Land, The Unwinding, Democracy in Chains, and others. After the Ivory Tower Falls is a stunning work of journalism, both laying bare the root of our political, cultural, and economic division--and charting a new path forward for America.

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