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Stover at Yale

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  52 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
An excerpt:

DINK STOVER, freshman, chose his seat in the afternoon express that would soon be rushing him to New Haven and his first glimpse of Yale University. He leisurely divested himself of his trim overcoat, folding it in exact creases and laying it gingerly across the back of his seat; stowed his traveling-bag; smoothed his hair with a masked movement of his gloved ha
Paperback, 408 pages
Published October 15th 2003 by Ross & Perry, Inc. (first published 1912)
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Oct 25, 2009 rated it liked it
This story starts on the Yale campus as freshman Dink Stover arrives, bright-eyed and eager as all good early 20th-century undergrads do in fiction. He becomes aware of the secret societies of the campus, particularly the Skull and Bones. The story is not so much about campus life, per se, but about the politics of campus life, how to succeed in the campus societies, and really just how to make it to the top of the social ladder.

I think maybe I would have enjoyed this if I had more testosterone.
Otis Chandler
Oct 17, 2006 marked it as to-read
Shelves: wishlist
If Jacques says its his one of his all-time favorites, then I gotta read it!
Mar 20, 2015 rated it it was ok
Even for the early 20th century, the book is mostly bland and uses the redundant platform of privileged men at an Ivy League school.

Johnson almost offers a moment of grace when Stover ostracizes himself by shunning the socially hierarchical sophomore societies. Naturally, this is undone by Stover's sellout: he joins the most hierarchical of senior societies: Skulls and Bones.

Sigh. Silly love story, coming into one's own, dropping of the ego...

oh, I just woke up.
Howard Dinin
Jan 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Surprisingly good, and still relevant after over 100 years

Somewhat predictable and not quite literary. Heavy-handed and melodramatic in a number of places, and the title character is not the most interesting... But it handles matters of continuing cultural weight and speaks to possibly irresolvable problems that persist in a de facto caste-ridden society and articulates them well
Chris Gager
Read long ago if at all. Maybe it was Frank Merriwell instead. My Dad was a Yalie(me too albeit briefly) so he probably gave it to me. Rings a faint bell... Date read is a guess.
Paul Donovan
Apr 22, 2015 rated it liked it
Interesting period novel about college life at Yale during the early twentieth century.
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“Brockhurst, the champion of individualism, was soon launched on his favorite topic.

"The great fault of the American nation, which is the fault of republics, is the reduction of everything to the average. Our universities are simply the expression of the forces that are operating outside. We are business colleges purely and simply, because we as a nation have only one ideal—the business ideal."

"That's a big statement," said Regan.

"It's true. Twenty years ago we had the ideal of the lawyer, of the doctor, of the statesman, of the gentleman, of the man of letters, of the soldier. Now the lawyer is simply a supernumerary enlisting under any banner for pay; the doctor is overshadowed by the specialist with his business development of the possibilities of the rich; we have politicians, and politics are deemed impossible for a gentleman; the gentleman cultured, simple, hospitable, and kind, is of the dying generation; the soldier is simply on parade."

"Wow!" said Ricketts, jingling his chips. "They're off."

"Everything has conformed to business, everything has been made to pay. Art is now a respectable career—to whom? To the business man. Why? Because a profession that is paid $3,000 to $5,000 a portrait is no longer an art, but a blamed good business. The man who cooks up his novel according to the weakness of his public sells a hundred thousand copies. Dime novel? No; published by our most conservative publishers—one of our leading citizens. He has found out that scribbling is a new field of business. He has convinced the business man. He has made it pay.”
“Dink, my boy, I'll be a millionaire in ten years. You know what I'm figuring out all this time? I'm going at this scientifically. I'm figuring out the number of fools there are on the top of this globe, classifying 'em, looking out what they want to be fooled on. I'm making an exact science of it."

"Go on," said Dink, amused and perplexed, for he was trying to distinguish the serious and the humorous.

"What's the principle of a patent medicine?—advertise first, then concoct your medicine. All the science of Foolology is: first, find something all the fools love and enjoy, tell them it's wrong, hammer it into them, give them a substitute and sit back, chuckle, and shovel away the ducats. Bread's wrong, coffee's wrong, beer's wrong. Why, Dink, in the next twenty years all the fools will be feeding on substitutes for everything they want; no salt—denatured sugar—anti-tea—oiloline—peanut butter—whale's milk—et cetera, et ceteray, and blessing the name of the fool-master who fooled them.”
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