Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis

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Simon and Schuster, Mar 10, 2015 - History - 400 pages
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).
 

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User Review  - norinrad10 - LibraryThing

Hands down one of the best books I've ever read. Putnam combines case studies with data to paint a heartbreaking picture of just how deeply poverty affects our kids. I dare you to read this book and ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Daniel.Estes - LibraryThing

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 ... Read full review

Contents

Chapter
1
FAMILIES
46
PARENTING
80
Chapter 4
135
Chapter 5
191
Chapter 6
227
The Stories of Our Kids
263
Acknowledgments
279
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About the author (2015)

Robert D. Putnam is the Peter and Isabel Malkin Professor of Public Policy at Harvard University. Nationally honored as a leading humanist and a renowned scientist, he has written fourteen books and has consulted for the last four US Presidents. His research program, the Saguaro Seminar, is dedicated to fostering civic engagement in America. Visit RobertDPutnam.com.

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