Americans love rags-to-riches stories, believing hard work and talent — not connections — should be rewarded. But meritocracy has come under scrutiny, with some questioning how well America lives up to its ideals, while others ask if they’re even worth striving for. In this episode, we’ll discuss whether meritocracy succeeds in pulling talent up from the bottom, or if the system has become rigged by the already rich and powerful. To answer those questions, I’ve brought on Adrian Wooldridge.

Adrian is the political editor and Bagehot columnist at The Economist. His latest book is The Aristocracy of Talent: How Meritocracy Made the Modern World.

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