Education: Life Before the Preppies

A guide presents salty summaries of 186 colleges

Four years after collaborating on The Official Preppy Handbook, Lisa Birnbach has returned with a prequel: life before Bif and Muffy get the desk and mortgage. Lisa Birnbach's College Book runs down—sometimes literally—186 American schools. "I realized that there wasn't a single college guide that described life on campus," she recalls, "at least not the things that interested me."

What interests her are dorms, bars, amusements and sexual mores, as well as academics. According to the Birnbach report, Animal House was not such an exaggeration after all: at the University of Texas, "hazing is still...

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