The Years That Matter Most: How College Makes or Breaks Us by Paul Tough

Paul Tough is one of the country’s leading writers on education, parenting, poverty, and politics. His wildly successful book, How Children Succeed (2012), introduced readers to vital concepts that shape educational and socio-economic success, such as Adverse Childhood Experiences (A.C.E.), and “noncognitive skills,” like resilience, self-control, and character.

In his newest book, The Years that Matter Most, Tough investigates the nature of higher education: who gets in, who stays in, and how much that college degree matters. Education can be society’s most powerful equalizer, Tough argues, but the way many colleges admit, instruct, and support their students serves to reinforce, rather than redress, our nation’s deep socio-economic divide.