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Clive Crook

Want Success? Choose the Right Parents

Gregory Clark's new book, "The Son Also Rises," argues that social status is mostly inherited. 
Photographer: Matthew Staver/Bloomberg
Photographer: Matthew Staver/Bloomberg

Gregory Clark's startling new book, "The Son Also Rises," asks you to rethink everything you thought you knew about social mobility. His research, if it's correct, isn't good news. It says that socio-economic status is mostly a matter of nature not nurture, and suggests that trying to help the disadvantaged move up won't make much difference.

These findings defy the prevailing consensus, and one wants them to be wrong. But what if they're not?