Before the Second World War, only about 20% of Britons attended secondary school, and no more than 2% got as far as higher education. Today, of course, everyone attends secondary school, and 50% go on to higher education. How did we get from there to here - from an elite, not even 'meritocratic' system to a mass-education system that prioritizes access? Peter Mandler's new book combines historical, sociological, and economic perspectives to reveal the hidden drivers of a system that we take for granted, but is in fact a recent construct.
Peter Mandler, Cambridge University
Deborah Cohen, Northwestern University
Ben Schmidt, New York University
Jonathan Zimmerman, University of Pennsylvania
Guy Ortolano, New York University
Organized by Guy Ortolano (NYU) and Susan Pedersen, Gouverneur Morris Professor of History (Heyman Fellow, 2020-2021)