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America's youth are in crisis. Raised by well-meaning but overprotective parents and coddled by well-meaning but misbegotten government programs, they are ill-equipped to survive in our highly-competitive global economy.
Many of the coming-of-age rituals that have defined the American experience since the Founding: learning the value of working with your hands, leaving home to start a family, becoming economically self-reliant--are being delayed or skipped altogether. The statistics are daunting: 30% of college students drop out after the first year, and only 4 in 10 graduate. One in three 18-to-34 year-olds live with their parents.
From these disparate phenomena: Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse who as president of a Midwestern college observed the trials of this generation up close, sees an existential threat to the American way of life.
In The Vanishing American Adult, Sasse diagnoses the causes of a generation that can't grow up and offers a path for raising children to become active and engaged citizens. He identifies core formative experiences that all young people should pursue: hard work to appreciate the benefits of labor, travel to understand deprivation and want, the power of reading, the importance of nurturing your body--and explains how parents can encourage them.
Our democracy depends on responsible, contributing adults to function properly--without them America falls prey to populist demagogues. A call to arms in the tradition of The Closing of the American Mind and a manifesto for parents in the traditions of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, The Vanishing American Adult will ignite a much-needed debate about the link between the way we're raising our children and the future of our country.
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