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The Rise of the Meritocracy by Michael Young

The Rise of the Meritocracy by Michael Young

Regular price $214.98 USD
Regular price Sale price $214.98 USD
The Rise of the Meritocracy
by Michael Young
with a new introduction by the author

New Brunswick, London: Transaction Publishers
1994 (originally published in 1958)

SIGNED and inscribed by Michael Young to Daniel Bell on the half-title page: "For Dan, For thanks for almost a lifetime of support and friendship, Michael, Nov. 93"

Also included is a typed, signed letter from Young to Bell, dated 23 November 1993: "Dear Dan, / A little publisher has brought out a new American edition of meritocracy. I have quoted you in a new introduction. Anyway, I thought that you might like to have a copy. / It is very hard being without Sasha. / Love to you and Pearl, Michael." Printed on Institute of Community studies letterhead of which Young was the director, and addressed to Professor Dan Bell, Department of Sociology Harvard University. Sasha, Young's wife, had died earlier in 1993.

In addition, a photo-copy of Bell's letter is also included, dated December 9, 1993: "Dear Michael: News and letters travel in pairs. I had just spoken to Toby the other night and learned about Sasha, and immediately sent off a letter to you at Gibson Square. Now I have your note (of 23 November) and the handsome copy of the re-issue of The Rise of Meritocracy, with the acknowledgment to me. / When I retired from Harvard, I moved the locale of my activities, in part because I had lost some rooms and secretarial and other help, and in part because the Academy provides a pleasanter ambience for office and work. One small price is having to make a small trek to Harvard (where I keep na office to store books in an out-of-the-way building) to pick up mail, for only first-class letters are forwarded and packages and notices are not. Hence the tardy receipt of the book and the letter. / It is a handsome re-issue. Your account of the difficulty in finding a publisher reminds me of a story--did I ever tell you--of an occasion when I was teaching at Columbia and a sudent did a term paper on your book. It was a brilliant analysis. The only problem was that he had gotten so wound up in the problem that he never realized or acknowledged that it was a "fable," but that it was a gravid sociological work. What kind of grade does one give to such a student. An "A" would be wrong. An "F" was out of the question. A Beta-minus is for dull students. So I invented a grade, but the registrar would not accept it, though the student finally understood. I gave it a "non-A". / I well understand about Sasha. / As ever, Dan."

Only signed by Young, as the letter from Bell appears to be a photo-copy. Young quotes Bell in the introduction on page xiv--see attached photo.

Condition: Softcover, very minimal apparent wear. Letters are likewise in excellent condition.

wiki: "Michael Dunlop Young, Baron Young of Dartington FBA (9 August 1915 – 14 January 2002), was a British sociologist, social activist and politician who coined the term "meritocracy". He was an urbanist of different dimensions such as academic researcher, polemicist and institution-builder. / During an active life he was instrumental in shaping Labour Party thinking. When secretary of the policy committee of the Labour Party, he was responsible for drafting Let Us Face the Future, Labour's manifesto for the 1945 general election, was a leading protagonist on social reform, and founded or helped found a number of socially useful organisations. / In 1958, Young also wrote the influential satire The Rise of the Meritocracy, originally for the Fabian Society, which refused to publish it. In it he coined the word "meritocracy", to which he gave negative connotations, and he became disappointed with how the concept came to be seen as an achievable concept worth pursuing. / December 1961 he married Sasha (daughter of Raisley Stewart Moorsom and a descendant of Admiral Sir Robert Moorsom), a novelist, sculptor and painter with whom he had a daughter (who was born before their marriage) and a son, the journalist and writer Toby Young. Young and Moorsom worked together on several projects, including in the townships of South Africa. Moorsom died in 1993...

The Rise of the Meritocracy is a book by British sociologist and politician Michael Dunlop Young which was first published in 1958. It describes a dystopian society in a future United Kingdom in which intelligence and merit have become the central tenet of society, replacing previous divisions of social class and creating a society stratified between a merited power-holding elite and a disenfranchised underclass of the less merited. The essay satirised the Tripartite System of education that was being practised at the time. The book was rejected by the Fabian Society and then by 11 publishers before being accepted by Thames and Hudson. / Meritocracy is the political philosophy in which political influence is assigned largely according to the intellectual talent and achievement of the individual. Michael Young coined the term... The word was adopted into the English language with none of the negative connotations that Young intended it to have and was embraced by supporters of the philosophy.

Daniel Bell (May 10, 1919 – January 25, 2011) was an American sociologist, writer, editor, and professor at Harvard University, best known for his contributions to the study of post-industrialism. He has been described as "one of the leading American intellectuals of the postwar era". His three best known works are The End of Ideology, The Coming of Post-Industrial Society, and The Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism."
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