Much more than a grouping of eight colleges and universities, the Ivy League—with its hallowed halls, private clubs, and grassy quadrangles—is the consummate reward of the American Dream. Captured in countless novels, films, and television shows, and mentioned in everyday conversations around the globe, these centuries-old institutions stand proudly as universal symbols of one of America’s greatest strengths—its world-renowned education system. Representing the apex of academic achievement, the Ivy League is also a gateway to the socially powerful and elite, making it the wish of all parents for their children. But that’s only the beginning. Taking a close-up look at each of these campuses, Harvard alumnus Daniel Cappello illustrates the unique spirit of each school and determines what sets them apart—from the presidents they’ve trained to the silver-screen characters they’ve inspired; from the size of their endowments to the number of celebrities they enroll; from dominant political stances to athletic rivalries, architectural styles, and popular fashion.