These autobiographical and analytical essays by a diverse group of professors and graduate students from working-class families reveal an academic world in which "blue-collar work is invisible." Describing conflict and frustration, the contributors expose a divisive middle-class bias in the university setting. Many talk openly about how little they understood about the hierarchy and processes of higher education, while others explore how their experiences now affect their relationships with their own students. They all have in common the anguish of choosing to hide their working-class background, to keep the language of home out of the classroom and the ideas of school away from home. These startlingly personal stories highlight the fissure between a working-class upbringing and the more privileged values of the institution.