Derrick's Reviews > The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future

The Dumbest Generation by Mark Bauerlein
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's review
Feb 13, 2012

did not like it
Read from February 13 to 18, 2012

I decided to read this book because I saw a friend, who is under 30, reading this book last summer. The author has a powerful thesis, but fails to execute well. At the beginning, he starts with an example of Walt Whitman High School, an exception to his thesis. He then provides several (SEVERAL!) examples of research that supports his view of a generation immersed in their own social cocoon. I was supportive of his ideas after a page or two, but he proceeded to share superfluous items of research that serve more as a distraction that to further support his claim.

In the book, he also goes to great length to point out that many of the sources young people have looked to as cultural guides have gotten caught up in the same idolization of adolescency that the younger generation holds past adolescents. This does serve to understand where the break is, but again he spends too much paper to prove that many of these guides have left there traditional positions.

The attention-seeking title did show a level of elitism, and this elitism was maintain throughout the book. The author, so focused on people on with other viewpoints, failed to highlight any model examples of people in the so-called Dumbest Generation that were seeking the civic, historical and cultural awareness that he finds important, or the adults that are helping them find that awareness. Instead, it ends with the advice of be an "old fogy" without fear.

Not exactly the happy ending I was hoping to find, but I will feel a bit more guilty the next time I post to facebook looking for peer approval.

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