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Download The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future (Or, Don't Trust Anyone Under 30) Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future (Or, Dont Trust Anyone Under 30), by Mark Bauerlein Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (923 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Mark Bauerlein Narrator: Danny Campbel Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Let’s take stock of young America. Compared to previous generations, American youth have more schooling (college enrollments have never been higher); more money ($100 a week in disposable income); more leisure time (five hours a day); and more news and information (Internet, The Daily Show, RSS feeds).

What do they do with all that time and money? They download, upload, IM, post, chat, and network. Nine of their top ten sites are for social networking. They watch television and play video games for two to four hours per day.

And here is what they don’t do: They don’t read, even online (two thirds aren’t proficient in reading); they don’t follow politics (most can’t name their mayor, governor, or senator); they don’t maintain a brisk work ethic (just ask employers); and they don’t vote regularly (45 percent can’t comprehend a ballot).

They are the dumbest generation. They enjoy all the advantages of a prosperous, high-tech society. Digital technology has fabulously empowered them and loosened the hold of elders. Yet adolescents use these tools to wrap themselves in a generational cocoon filled with puerile banter and coarse images. The founts of knowledge are everywhere, but the rising generation camps in the desert, exchanging stories, pictures, tunes, and texts, savoring the thrill of peer attention. If they don’t change, they will be remembered as fortunate ones who were unworthy of the privileges they inherited. They may even be the generation that lost that great American heritage, forever.

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Mark C. Kelly | 2/19/2014

    " As a high school teacher, I know all too well about a culture that doesn't read, and in fact resents being asked to read. I don't know how we can turn it around, but I'm rather confident the technology money schools throw at the problem now only serve to engage students, not educate or enlighten them. This book is a conversation starter to address the problem, and hopefully begin seeking solutions. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 by Nathan | 2/17/2014

    " Baulerlein has the statistics, but what he lacks is nuance, tact, and ultimately, objectivity. Under his steely eye, anyone under 30 is magicked into a mouthbreathing, illiterate cross between Britney Spears and Dennis the Menace. The shrillness of his rhetoric borders on ageism, sure to offend anyone under 30 who doesn't get all their information from Wikipedia or base their value on the worth of their iPod. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Kate | 2/16/2014

    " The author had me for a while, with an interesting critique of our youth-oriented society, but he just went off rambling for the last few chapters and I couldn't nod sagely anymore, not feeling like there was good evidence for his disgruntlement. I missed the footnotes that I felt ought to be there, despite the long bibliography at the end and the ENDLESS quotes from studies. As much as he criticizes youth for seeking out only those who agree with them, he's written a book for those with that same attitude. Also it is ridiculous to single out youth here: we're ALL getting dumber (if you use his definition). A high point: he doesn't entirely blame the schools for the pickle we're in. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Charlotte | 2/1/2014

    " So informative. I highly recommend this book to educators. "

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About the Author

Mark Bauerlein is a professor of English at Emory University and has worked as a director of research and analysis at the National Endowment for the Arts, where he oversaw studies about culture and American life. His writing has appeared in many publications and scholarly periodicals, including the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the Chronicle of Higher Education. Bauerlein lives with his family in Atlanta.