The Aristocracy of Talent

by Adrian Wooldridge

£12.99

Society; History

Paperback

9780141990378

Published by Penguin Books Ltd

Published January 2023

Books > History

How Meritocracy Made the Modern World

Meritocracy: the idea that people should be advanced according to their talents rather than their status at birth. For much of history this was a revolutionary thought, but by the end of the twentieth century it had become the world’s ruling ideology. How did this happen, and why is meritocracy now under attack from both right and left?

Adrian Wooldridge traces the history of meritocracy forged by the politicians and officials who introduced the revolutionary principle of open competition, the psychologists who devised methods for measuring natural mental abilities and the educationalists who built ladders of educational opportunity. He looks outside western cultures and shows what transformative effects it has had everywhere it has been adopted, especially once women were brought into the meritocractic system.

Wooldridge also shows how meritocracy has now become corrupted and argues that the recent stalling of social mobility is the result of failure to complete the meritocratic revolution. Rather than abandoning meritocracy, he says, we should call for its renewal.

Agent Zo by Clare Mulley | 9781399601061

Agent Zo

Clare Mulley

£22.00

Saffron Walden History Walks by Jacqueline & Peter Cooper | 9781873669242

Saffron Walden History Walks

Jacqueline & Peter Cooper

£10.00

Before the Light Fades by Natasha Walter | 9780349010595

Before the Light Fades

Natasha Walter

£10.99

Hands of Time by Rebecca Struthers | 9781529339048

Hands of Time

Rebecca Struthers

£10.99

Great-Uncle Harry by Michael Palin | 9781804940655

Great-Uncle Harry

Michael Palin

£10

Another England by Caroline Lucas | 9781529153064

Another England

Caroline Lucas

£22.00