Journalist and staff writer for The New Yorker Nicholas Lemann is the author of the new book "The Big Test: The Secret History of the American Meritocracy" (Farrar, Strauss & Giroux). It's a social history of how reformers in the mid 1940s set upon universal testing criteria (the Educational Testing Service, purveyors of the SAT) as a way of creating a new democratic elite, drawn from every section and every background of America. And it's about how that 50 year old system has failed.
Journalist Nicholas Lemann is National Correspondent of The Atlantic Monthly. He's written an essay in the April 28, 1997 issue of Newsweek, "The Limits of Charity." He'll talk with Marty Moss-Coane about the volunteerism touted at the current Presidential Summit.