BC'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
Jan 28, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: current-events-politics
Read in January, 2008

I really enjoyed this book, and it provided some proof of what I have been experiencing as a teacher at a university. Students - even at a university - are reluctant to read any more than they must, don't take an interest in the material, and don't take an interest in the world around them. As a university professor, Bauerlain has experienced all these things himself, and now has the research to back it up.

As Bauerlain states, younger people (and I'm one of the under-30s; just barely, though) have an ability to find information on the internet, but absolutely lack the ability to do anything with that information. Critical reading skills are almost gone. More impressive, or more scary, is the lack of curiosity. The majority of students want to find out what they have to do in order to either pass, or get the mark they need to get into law-med-?-school.

The points that Bauerlain makes are valid, and point to larger problems than just book or newspaper sales. His book should be read by all those interested in the future of education and culture in North America.
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Andrew (new)

Andrew I wonder if every generation has said this about subsequent ones. i get the feeling that this book could have been written by our grandparents talking about baby boomers and those new fandangled television sets...

Have you read "Everything Bad is Good for You; How Today's Popular Culture is Actually Making Us Smarter"?

message 2: by BC (new) - rated it 4 stars

BC I imagine that every generation has said that, but this book has a lot of data to back up what could have been a fairly typical argument. Teens today read VERY little compared with teens a generation ago. Their ability to read has declined and their ability to synthesize information has gone down. I think that he actually talks about the way that even the nature of television has changed; we don't all watch the same programming anymore. For sure, there are some moments where you think "lighten-up", but his basic premise towards younger people's use of the internet, etc. seems dead on.

I haven't read that book. You told me about it, and I've been meaning to check it out.

message 3: by Andrew (new)

Andrew The television stuff (along with video games) is the premise of EBIGFY. TV is actually immensely more challenging and cognitively demanding than it was in the past. I'll bring it along next time we get together, it's well worth the read.

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