Book Review: The Rise of the Meritocracy

1959. The rise of the meritocracy, 1870-2033: the new elite of our social revolution. New York: Random House.

Fascinating examination which to purports to examine the ways in which the attempt for egalitarianism would ultimately result in the reduplication of inherited status and power. However the book suffers in several key areas:

1) it ‘buys’ the argument that there is a simple and yet global ‘intelligence’ that could be measured and then would give advantage in all aspects of life. It is not clear whether the reader is supposed to agree with the interlocutor that such a thing exists but this reader was not convinced that the attempt to demonstrate would not fall at the first post.

2) in a failure of imagination that rivals that of Frank Herbert the author/interlocutor can imagine a world in which there are massive changes in technology and even social arrangements yet at the same time cannot conceive of a fundamental change in the relationship between men and women in society.

3) warning!!! Ends abruptly, and this reader was left feeling that it requires at the very least, an epilogue.


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