Our Kids

Our Kids
Author: Robert D. Putnam
Pages: 400
ISBN: 9781476769905
Available:
Release: 2016-03-29
Editor: Simon and Schuster
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

A New York Times bestseller and “a passionate, urgent” (The New Yorker) examination of the growing inequality gap from the bestselling author of Bowling Alone: why fewer Americans today have the opportunity for upward mobility. Central to the very idea of America is the principle that we are a nation of opportunity. But over the last quarter century we have seen a disturbing “opportunity gap” emerge. We Americans have always believed that those who have talent and try hard will succeed, but this central tenet of the American Dream seems no longer true or at the least, much less true than it was. In Our Kids, Robert Putnam offers a personal and authoritative look at this new American crisis, beginning with the example of his high school class of 1959 in Port Clinton, Ohio. The vast majority of those students went on to lives better than those of their parents. But their children and grandchildren have faced diminishing prospects. Putnam tells the tale of lessening opportunity through poignant life stories of rich, middle class, and poor kids from cities and suburbs across the country, brilliantly blended with the latest social-science research. “A truly masterful volume” (Financial Times), Our Kids provides a disturbing account of the American dream that is “thoughtful and persuasive” (The Economist). Our Kids offers a rare combination of individual testimony and rigorous evidence: “No one can finish this book and feel complacent about equal opportunity” (The New York Times Book Review).

Our Kids

Our Kids
Author: Robert D. Putnam
Pages: 400
ISBN: 9781476769899
Available:
Release: 2015-03-10
Editor: Simon and Schuster
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

In an authoritative, yet personal, examination of the growing inequality gap, a leading humanist and renowned scientist who has consulted for the last four U.S. Presidents, drawing on poignant life stories of rich and poor kids across the country, provides a disturbing account of the American dream. By the author of Bowling Alone. Includes 30 charts and graphs.

Our Kids

Our Kids
Author: Robert D. Putnam
Pages: 400
ISBN: 9781476769912
Available:
Release: 2015-03-10
Editor: Simon and Schuster
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

A New York Times bestseller and “a passionate, urgent” (The New Yorker) examination of the growing inequality gap from the bestselling author of Bowling Alone: why fewer Americans today have the opportunity for upward mobility. Central to the very idea of America is the principle that we are a nation of opportunity. But over the last quarter century we have seen a disturbing “opportunity gap” emerge. We Americans have always believed that those who have talent and try hard will succeed, but this central tenet of the American Dream seems no longer true or at the least, much less true than it was. In Our Kids, Robert Putnam offers a personal and authoritative look at this new American crisis, beginning with the example of his high school class of 1959 in Port Clinton, Ohio. The vast majority of those students went on to lives better than those of their parents. But their children and grandchildren have faced diminishing prospects. Putnam tells the tale of lessening opportunity through poignant life stories of rich, middle class, and poor kids from cities and suburbs across the country, brilliantly blended with the latest social-science research. “A truly masterful volume” (Financial Times), Our Kids provides a disturbing account of the American dream that is “thoughtful and persuasive” (The Economist). Our Kids offers a rare combination of individual testimony and rigorous evidence: “No one can finish this book and feel complacent about equal opportunity” (The New York Times Book Review).

American Dream

American Dream
Author: Jason DeParle
Pages: 422
ISBN: 0143034375
Available:
Release: 2005
Editor: Penguin
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Provides an in-depth study of the conflict between government social policy and the realities of life in post-welfare America, focusing on the lives of three women in a single extended family.

Dream Hoarders

Dream Hoarders
Author: Richard V. Reeves
Pages: 240
ISBN: 9780815735496
Available:
Release: 2018-05-08
Editor: Brookings Institution Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Dream Hoarders sparked a national conversation on the dangerous separation between the upper middle class and everyone else. Now in paperback and newly updated for the age of Trump, Brookings Institution senior fellow Richard Reeves is continuing to challenge the class system in America. In America, everyone knows that the top 1 percent are the villains. The rest of us, the 99 percent—we are the good guys. Not so, argues Reeves. The real class divide is not between the upper class and the upper middle class: it is between the upper middle class and everyone else. The separation of the upper middle class from everyone else is both economic and social, and the practice of “opportunity hoarding”—gaining exclusive access to scarce resources—is especially prevalent among parents who want to perpetuate privilege to the benefit of their children. While many families believe this is just good parenting, it is actually hurting others by reducing their chances of securing these opportunities. There is a glass floor created for each affluent child helped by his or her wealthy, stable family. That glass floor is a glass ceiling for another child. Throughout Dream Hoarders, Reeves explores the creation and perpetuation of opportunity hoarding, and what should be done to stop it, including controversial solutions such as ending legacy admissions to school. He offers specific steps toward reducing inequality and asks the upper middle class to pay for it. Convinced of their merit, members of the upper middle class believes they are entitled to those tax breaks and hoarded opportunities. After all, they aren’t the 1 percent. The national obsession with the super rich allows the upper middle class to convince themselves that they are just like the rest of America. In Dream Hoarders, Reeves argues that in many ways, they are worse, and that changes in policy and social conscience are the only way to fix the broken system.

Hillbilly Elegy

Hillbilly Elegy
Author: J. D. Vance
Pages: 288
ISBN: 9780062872258
Available:
Release: 2018-05-01
Editor: HarperCollins
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

THE #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER IS NOW A MAJOR-MOTION PICTURE DIRECTED BY RON HOWARD AND STARRING AMY ADAMS, GLENN CLOSE, AND GABRIEL BASSO "You will not read a more important book about America this year."—The Economist "A riveting book."—The Wall Street Journal "Essential reading."—David Brooks, New York Times Hillbilly Elegy is a passionate and personal analysis of a culture in crisis—that of white working-class Americans. The disintegration of this group, a process that has been slowly occurring now for more than forty years, has been reported with growing frequency and alarm, but has never before been written about as searingly from the inside. J. D. Vance tells the true story of what a social, regional, and class decline feels like when you were born with it hung around your neck. The Vance family story begins hopefully in postwar America. J. D.’s grandparents were “dirt poor and in love,” and moved north from Kentucky’s Appalachia region to Ohio in the hopes of escaping the dreadful poverty around them. They raised a middle-class family, and eventually one of their grandchildren would graduate from Yale Law School, a conventional marker of success in achieving generational upward mobility. But as the family saga of Hillbilly Elegy plays out, we learn that J.D.'s grandparents, aunt, uncle, sister, and, most of all, his mother struggled profoundly with the demands of their new middle-class life, never fully escaping the legacy of abuse, alcoholism, poverty, and trauma so characteristic of their part of America. With piercing honesty, Vance shows how he himself still carries around the demons of his chaotic family history. A deeply moving memoir, with its share of humor and vividly colorful figures, Hillbilly Elegy is the story of how upward mobility really feels. And it is an urgent and troubling meditation on the loss of the American dream for a large segment of this country.

The Audacity of Hope

The Audacity of Hope
Author: Barack Obama
Pages: 384
ISBN: 9780307382092
Available:
Release: 2006-10-17
Editor: Crown
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Barack Obama’s lucid vision of America’s place in the world and call for a new kind of politics that builds upon our shared understandings as Americans, based on his years in the Senate “In our lowdown, dispiriting era, Obama’s talent for proposing humane, sensible solutions with uplifting, elegant prose does fill one with hope.”—Michael Kazin, The Washington Post In July 2004, four years before his presidency, Barack Obama electrified the Democratic National Convention with an address that spoke to Americans across the political spectrum. One phrase in particular anchored itself in listeners’ minds, a reminder that for all the discord and struggle to be found in our history as a nation, we have always been guided by a dogged optimism in the future, or what Obama called “the audacity of hope.” The Audacity of Hope is Barack Obama’s call for a different brand of politics—a politics for those weary of bitter partisanship and alienated by the “endless clash of armies” we see in congress and on the campaign trail; a politics rooted in the faith, inclusiveness, and nobility of spirit at the heart of “our improbable experiment in democracy.” He explores those forces—from the fear of losing to the perpetual need to raise money to the power of the media—that can stifle even the best-intentioned politician. He also writes, with surprising intimacy and self-deprecating humor, about settling in as a senator, seeking to balance the demands of public service and family life, and his own deepening religious commitment. At the heart of this book is Barack Obama’s vision of how we can move beyond our divisions to tackle concrete problems. He examines the growing economic insecurity of American families, the racial and religious tensions within the body politic, and the transnational threats—from terrorism to pandemic—that gather beyond our shores. And he grapples with the role that faith plays in a democracy—where it is vital and where it must never intrude. Underlying his stories is a vigorous search for connection: the foundation for a radically hopeful political consensus. Only by returning to the principles that gave birth to our Constitution, Obama says, can Americans repair a political process that is broken, and restore to working order a government that has fallen dangerously out of touch with millions of ordinary Americans. Those Americans are out there, he writes—“waiting for Republicans and Democrats to catch up with them.”

When Our Grown Kids Disappoint Us

When Our Grown Kids Disappoint Us
Author: Jane Adams
Pages: 224
ISBN: 1439106827
Available:
Release: 2008-06-20
Editor: Simon and Schuster
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

How do today's parents cope when the dreams we had for our children clash with reality? What can we do for our twenty- and even thirty-somethings who can't seem to grow up? How can we help our depressed, dependent, or addicted adult children, the ones who can't get their lives started, who are just marking time or even doing it? What's the right strategy when our smart, capable "adultolescents" won't leave home or come boomeranging back? Who can we turn to when the kids aren't all right and we, their parents, are frightened, frustrated, resentful, embarrassed, and especially, disappointed? In this groundbreaking book, a social psychologist who's been chronicling the lives of American families for over two decades confronts our deepest concerns, including our silence and self-imposed sense of isolation, when our grown kids have failed to thrive. She listens to a generation that "did everything right" and expected its children to grow into happy, healthy, successful adults. But they haven't, at least, not yet -- and meanwhile, we're letting their problems threaten our health, marriages, security, freedom, careers or retirement, and other family relationships. With warmth, empathy, and perspective, Dr. Adams offers a positive, life-affirming message to parents who are still trying to "fix" their adult children -- Stop! She shows us how to separate from their problems without separating from them, and how to be a positive force in their lives while getting on with our own. As we navigate this critical passage in our second adulthood and their first, the bestselling author of I'm Still Your Mother reminds us that the pleasures and possibilities of postparenthood should not depend on how our kids turn out, but on how we do!

Inflated

Inflated
Author: Christopher Whalen
Pages: 352
ISBN: 9780470875148
Available:
Release: 2010-12-08
Editor: John Wiley & Sons
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Americans as a whole view themselves as reasonably prudent and sober people when it comes to matters of money, reflecting the puritan roots of the earliest European settlers. Yet as a community, we also seem to believe that we are entitled to a lifestyle that is well-beyond our current income, a tendency that goes back to the earliest days of the United States and particularly to get rich quick experiences ranging from the Gold Rush of the 1840s to the real estate bubble of the early 21st Century. Inflated examines this apparent conflict and makes the argument that such a world view is so ingrained in us that to expect the United States to live in a “deflated” world is simply unrealistic. It skillfully seeks to tell the story of, money inflation and public debt as enduring (and perhaps endearing) features of American life, rather than something we can one day overcome as our policy makers constantly promise. • Features interviews with today’s top financial industry leaders and insiders. • Offer a glimpse into the future of the Federal Reserve and the role it will play in the coming years • Examines what the future may hold for the value of the U.S. dollar and the real incomes of future generations of Americans The gradual result of the situation we find ourselves in will inevitably lead to inflation, loss of economic opportunity, and a decline in the value of the dollar. This book will show you why, and reveal how we might be able to deal with it.

Requiem for the American Dream

Requiem for the American Dream
Author: Noam Chomsky
Pages: 192
ISBN: 9781609807375
Available:
Release: 2017-03-28
Editor: Seven Stories Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER! In his first major book on the subject of income inequality, Noam Chomsky skewers the fundamental tenets of neoliberalism and casts a clear, cold, patient eye on the economic facts of life. What are the ten principles of concentration of wealth and power at work in America today? They're simple enough: reduce democracy, shape ideology, redesign the economy, shift the burden onto the poor and middle classes, attack the solidarity of the people, let special interests run the regulators, engineer election results, use fear and the power of the state to keep the rabble in line, manufacture consent, marginalize the population. In Requiem for the American Dream, Chomsky devotes a chapter to each of these ten principles, and adds readings from some of the core texts that have influenced his thinking to bolster his argument. To create Requiem for the American Dream, Chomsky and his editors, the filmmakers Peter Hutchison, Kelly Nyks, and Jared P. Scott, spent countless hours together over the course of five years, from 2011 to 2016. After the release of the film version, Chomsky and the editors returned to the many hours of tape and transcript and created a document that included three times as much text as was used in the film. The book that has resulted is nonetheless arguably the most succinct and tightly woven of Chomsky's long career, a beautiful vessel--including old-fashioned ligatures in the typeface--in which to carry Chomsky's bold and uncompromising vision, his perspective on the economic reality and its impact on our political and moral well-being as a nation. "During the Great Depression, which I'm old enough to remember, it was bad–much worse subjectively than today. But there was a sense that we'll get out of this somehow, an expectation that things were going to get better . . ." —from Requiem for the American Dream

Who Stole the American Dream

Who Stole the American Dream
Author: Hedrick Smith
Pages: 579
ISBN: 9780812982053
Available:
Release: 2013
Editor: Random House Incorporated
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Recounts how the American dream has been dismantled over the past forty years by legislative, electoral, and corporate decisions that have compromised the middle class and minimized individual economic and political power.

The Father of Us All

The Father of Us All
Author: Victor Davis Hanson
Pages: 272
ISBN: 1608192946
Available:
Release: 2010-05-03
Editor: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Victor Davis Hanson has long been acclaimed as one of our leading scholars of ancient history. In recent years he has also become a trenchant voice on current affairs, bringing a historian's deep knowledge of past conflicts to bear on the crises of the present, from 9/11 to Iran. "War," he writes, "is an entirely human enterprise." Ideologies change, technologies develop, new strategies are invented-but human nature is constant across time and space. The dynamics of warfare in the present age still remain comprehensible to us through careful study of the past. Though many have called the War on Terror unprecedented, its contours would have been quite familiar to Themistocles of Athens or William Tecumseh Sherman. And as we face the menace of a bin Laden or a Kim Jong-Il, we can prepare ourselves with knowledge of how such challenges have been met before. The Father of Us All brings together much of Hanson's finest writing on war and society, both ancient and modern. The author has gathered a range of essays, and combined and revised them into a richly textured new work that explores such topics as how technology shapes warfare, what constitutes the "American way of war," and why even those who abhor war need to study military history. "War is the father and king of us all," Heraclitus wrote in ancient Greece. And as Victor Davis Hanson shows, it is no less so today.

Bowling Alone

Bowling Alone
Author: Robert D. Putnam
Pages: 544
ISBN: 9780743219037
Available:
Release: 2001-08-01
Editor: Simon and Schuster
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Once we bowled in leagues, usually after work -- but no longer. This seemingly small phenomenon symbolizes a significant social change that Robert Putnam has identified in this brilliant volume, Bowling Alone, which The Economist hailed as "a prodigious achievement." Drawing on vast new data that reveal Americans' changing behavior, Putnam shows how we have become increasingly disconnected from one another and how social structures -- whether they be PTA, church, or political parties -- have disintegrated. Until the publication of this groundbreaking work, no one had so deftly diagnosed the harm that these broken bonds have wreaked on our physical and civic health, nor had anyone exalted their fundamental power in creating a society that is happy, healthy, and safe. Like defining works from the past, such as The Lonely Crowd and The Affluent Society, and like the works of C. Wright Mills and Betty Friedan, Putnam's Bowling Alone has identified a central crisis at the heart of our society and suggests what we can do.

Kids These Days

Kids These Days
Author: Malcolm Harris
Pages: 8
ISBN: 9780316510875
Available:
Release: 2017-11-07
Editor: Little, Brown
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

In Kids These Days, early Wall Street occupier Malcolm Harris gets real about why the Millennial generation has been wrongly stereotyped, and dares us to confront and take charge of the consequences now that we are grown up. Millennials have been stereotyped as lazy, entitled, narcissistic, and immature. We've gotten so used to sloppy generational analysis filled with dumb clichés about young people that we've lost sight of what really unites Millennials. Namely: We are the most educated and hardworking generation in American history. We poured historic and insane amounts of time and money into preparing ourselves for the 21st-century labor market. We have been taught to consider working for free (homework, internships) a privilege for our own benefit. We are poorer, more medicated, and more precariously employed than our parents, grandparents, even our great grandparents, with less of a social safety net to boot. Kids These Days is about why. In brilliant, crackling prose, early Wall Street occupier Malcolm Harris gets mercilessly real about our maligned birth cohort. Examining trends like runaway student debt, the rise of the intern, mass incarceration, social media, and more, Harris gives us a portrait of what it means to be young in America today that will wake you up and piss you off. Millennials were the first generation raised explicitly as investments, Harris argues, and in Kids These Days he dares us to confront and take charge of the consequences now that we are grown up.

It Takes a Village

It Takes a Village
Author: Hillary Rodham Clinton
Pages: 320
ISBN: 9781471108648
Available:
Release: 2012-12-11
Editor: Simon and Schuster
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Ten years ago one of America's most important public figures, First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, chronicled her quest both deeply personal and, in the truest sense, public to help make our society into the kind of village that enables children to become able, caring resilient adults. IT TAKES A VILLAGE is a textbook for caring, filled with truths that are worth a read, and a reread. In her substantial new introduction, Senator Clinton reflects on how our village has changed over the last decade, from the internet to education, and on how her own understanding of children has deepened as she has watched Chelsea grow up and take on challenges new to her generation, from a first job to living through a terrorist attack. She discusses how the work she is doing in the Senate is helping children and looks at where America has been successful, improvements in the foster care system and support for adoption, and where there is still work to be done, providing pre-school programmes and universal health care to all our children. This new edition elucidates how the choices we make about how we raise our children, and how we support families, will determine how all nations will face the challenges of this century.

The Happiest Kids in the World

The Happiest Kids in the World
Author: Rina Mae Acosta,Michele Hutchison
Pages: 256
ISBN: 9781615193912
Available:
Release: 2017-04-04
Editor: The Experiment
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Discover how Dutch parents raise The Happiest Kids in the World! Calling all stressed-out parents: Relax! Imagine a place where young children play unsupervised, don’t do homework, have few scheduled “activities” . . . and rank #1 worldwide in happiness and education. It’s not a fantasy—it’s the Netherlands! Rina Mae Acosta and Michele Hutchison—an American and a Brit, both married to Dutchmen and raising their kids in the Netherlands—report back on what makes Dutch kids so happy and well adjusted. Is it that dads take workdays off to help out? Chocolate sprinkles for breakfast? Bicycling everywhere? Whatever the secret, entire Dutch families reap the benefits, from babies (who sleep 15 hours a day) to parents (who enjoy a work-life balance most Americans only dream of). As Acosta and Hutchison borrow ever-more wisdom from their Dutch neighbors, this much becomes clear: Sometimes the best thing we can do as parents is . . . less!

I Was Their American Dream

I Was Their American Dream
Author: Malaka Gharib
Pages: 160
ISBN: 9780525575115
Available:
Release: 2019-03-26
Editor: Clarkson Potter
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

A triumphant tale of self-discovery, a celebration of a family's rich heritage, and a love letter to American immigrant freedom. I Was Their American Dream is at once a journal of growing up and a reminder of the thousands of immigrants who come to America in search for a better life for themselves and their children. The daughter of parents with unfulfilled dreams themselves, Malaka navigated her childhood chasing her parents' ideals, learning to code-switch between her family's Filipino and Egyptian customs, adapting to white culture to fit in, crushing on skater boys, and trying to understand the tension between holding onto cultural values and trying to be an all-American kid. In a graphic novel format, Malaka Gharib's illustrations bring to life her teenage antics and illuminate earnest questions about identity and culture, while providing thoughtful insight into the lives of modern immigrants and the generation of millennial children they raised. Malaka's upbringing will look familiar to anyone who grew up in the pre-internet era, but her particular story is a heartfelt tribute to the American immigrants who have invested their future in the promise of the American dream.

Coming Apart

Coming Apart
Author: Charles Murray
Pages: 417
ISBN: 9780307453433
Available:
Release: 2013
Editor: Random House Digital, Inc.
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

A critique of the white American class structure argues that the paths of social mobility that once advanced the nation are now serving to further isolate an elite upper class while enforcing a growing and resentful white underclass.

Last Child in the Woods

Last Child in the Woods
Author: Richard Louv
Pages: 416
ISBN: 156512586X
Available:
Release: 2008-04-22
Editor: Algonquin Books
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

The Book That Launched an International Movement “An absolute must-read for parents.” —The Boston Globe “It rivals Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring.” —The Cincinnati Enquirer “I like to play indoors better ’cause that’s where all the electrical outlets are,” reports a fourth grader. But it’s not only computers, television, and video games that are keeping kids inside. It’s also their parents’ fears of traffic, strangers, Lyme disease, and West Nile virus; their schools’ emphasis on more and more homework; their structured schedules; and their lack of access to natural areas. Local governments, neighborhood associations, and even organizations devoted to the outdoors are placing legal and regulatory constraints on many wild spaces, sometimes making natural play a crime. As children’s connections to nature diminish and the social, psychological, and spiritual implications become apparent, new research shows that nature can offer powerful therapy for such maladies as depression, obesity, and attention deficit disorder. Environment-based education dramatically improves standardized test scores and grade-point averages and develops skills in problem solving, critical thinking, and decision making. Anecdotal evidence strongly suggests that childhood experiences in nature stimulate creativity. In Last Child in the Woods, Louv talks with parents, children, teachers, scientists, religious leaders, child-development researchers, and environmentalists who recognize the threat and offer solutions. Louv shows us an alternative future, one in which parents help their kids experience the natural world more deeply—and find the joy of family connectedness in the process. Now includes A Field Guide with 100 Practical Actions We Can Take Discussion Points for Book Groups, Classrooms, and Communities Additional Notes by the Author New and Updated Research from the U.S. and Abroad Richard Louv's new book, Our Wild Calling, is available now.

Dreamland YA edition

Dreamland  YA edition
Author: Sam Quinones
Pages: 304
ISBN: 9781547601417
Available:
Release: 2019-07-16
Editor: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

As an adult book, Sam Quinones's Dreamland took the world by storm, winning the NBCC Award for General Nonfiction and hitting at least a dozen Best Book of the Year lists. Now, adapted for the first time for a young adult audience, this compelling reporting explains the roots of the current opiate crisis. In 1929, in the blue-collar city of Portsmouth, Ohio, a company built a swimming pool the size of a football field; named Dreamland, it became the vital center of the community. Now, addiction has devastated Portsmouth, as it has hundreds of small rural towns and suburbs across America. How that happened is the riveting story of Dreamland. Quinones explains how the rise of the prescription drug OxyContin, a miraculous and extremely addictive painkiller pushed by pharmaceutical companies, paralleled the massive influx of black tar heroin--cheap, potent, and originating from one small county on Mexico's west coast, independent of any drug cartel. Introducing a memorable cast of characters--pharmaceutical pioneers, young Mexican entrepreneurs, narcotics investigators, survivors, teens, and parents--Dreamland is a revelatory account of the massive threat facing America and its heartland.