The Tyranny of Merit
A review of

The Tyranny of Merit

What's Become of the Common Good?

Michael J. SandelFSG • 2020

Class Disparity

by David Meyer

Professor Michael J. Sandel describes the problems and dangerous fallout of America's obsession with status and success.

Professor of government theory at Harvard University Law School Michael J. Sandel – an exemplar of meritocratic achievement – provides an apt and cutting critique of the US merit-based system. His cogent text pinpoints the root cause of America’s current pronounced divisions, and his reflections on meritocracy’s impacts on globalization, class resentment and education prove fascinating and potent.

Demonstrating the strength of Sandel’s insights and the high regard critics have for them, The Times Literary Supplement named his critique Book of the Year for 2020; The New Statesman chose it as a Best Book of 2020, as did Bloomberg. The Guardian honored it as Best Book About Ideas of 2020. “In lucid, illuminating prose,” said Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation, “Sandel makes a compelling case for uprooting inequality and building a fairer society shaped by true principles of justice. A seminal work.”

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