Our Kids

Our Kids

The American Dream in Crisis

Book - 2015
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"The best-selling author of Bowling Alone offers a groundbreaking examination of the American Dream in crisis: how and why opportunities for upward mobility are diminishing, jeopardizing the prospects of an ever larger segment of Americans"--Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York :, Simon and Schuster,, [2015]
Edition: First Simon & Schuster hardcover edition
Copyright Date: ©2015
ISBN: 9781476769899
Branch Call Number: ANF 305.513097 PUT
Characteristics: 386 pages : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm

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bibliokrisp
Mar 20, 2016

Our Kids--not just our biological kids, but all kids. The author's main thesis is that if we want truly American values, we must work as a society to help close the opportunity gap that exists between well-educated and those who are not in the US. The book is a little slow going, with lots of data (yes, it's wonky), but it will also inspire you to care and take action. Poor kids should still have a fair chance to work hard and get enough education to support themselves. However, across the US, poor kids are faced by poverty, drugs, parents in prison, no money, no guidance. Essential reading.

d
danielestes
Aug 10, 2015

Our Kids by Robert Putnam is a powerful book that highlights an ever-worsening problem. However, I feel like the author was merely offering up hard evidence for cultural trends that most of us already intuitively know. The truth is evident for those who are aware of this generational regression. I'll admit that after a while I was skimming through the individual profiles. These were real people supposedly and yet their stories seemed like clichés. Also, did anyone find Putnam's descriptions of life in the 1950's a shade too rosy?

The most interesting takeaway for me—and again hardly surprising—was that one's childhood surroundings do have a significant effect on growth. I tend to favor the nature argument over the nurture one, but environment does play a role. And a bad environment is not where you want to be. An impoverished child attending public school with other mostly impoverished children is statistically going to do worse, much worse, than a middle class child surrounded by middle class peers. This is also true of a child's life at home.

p
patcarstensen
Jul 26, 2015

As is common in this kind of book, the suggested solutions are a little wimpy compared to the powerful analysis of the problem. Since my hometown is near Port Clinton, I especially enjoyed the first chapter.

s
StarGladiator
Mar 21, 2015

Quoting the Library Journal -- from the book: // Putnam . . . suggests some public policy initiatives to address the problem-steps such as instituting nationwide early childhood education and restoring working-class wages. \\ Why, we'll get right on it, since Census Bureau data shows that 1 out of every 2 Americans qualifies as poor, since Rutgers University study suggests that almost 1/2 of all those so-called new jobs don't exist, et cetera. Seriously, is this a personal advertisement for a professional lamer, or what? And I would love a luxurious penthouse apartment, and Rose McGowan as a girlfriend. [After reading this book, by a // renowned something or other \\ and a Harvard TV watcher, allow me to offer a real solution: a revolution to take back the right of money creation from the private banksters, and back to representative government, which would be STEP ONE!]

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