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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) Audiobook, 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 Campbell Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2011 ISBN: 9781452672328
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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 (2 to 4 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, 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. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • It wouldn't be going too far to call this book the Why Johnny Can't Read for the digital age. Booklist

Listener Opinions

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

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

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Steven Dunn | 2/1/2014

    " A very informative book on the way we lie to ourselves about the positive effects of technology on the young. Unfortunately it's an incredibly dry book, little more than a collection of statistics held together in a loose framework of prose. I read the first several chapters in full and then skimmed the remainder. It's a book I highly recommend, but only for exposure to the statistics, which speak for themselves. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jason | 1/29/2014

    " A bit professorial, but some good points to consider about the value of classics. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Aaron | 1/28/2014

    " Very entertaining for a book that deals with such a serious issue. It's disheartening that so many young people don't see the value of reading and other ways of gaining knowledge. Mark Baurlein provides many facts and statistics that are pretty shocking. No wonder people in other countries think the US is a joke. The only major flaw is that no real solution is provided. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jason | 1/18/2014

    " Didn't love it. He made some good points, but mostly the same point over and over. Was very dry in some areas, but I have been reading other books with this theme, and it provides some thoughtful introspection with today's youth. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jim | 12/23/2013

    " This was something, as a college English professor, I thought was happening, but I was afraid to believe it. I have fortified my standards of excellence as a result. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jesse | 12/21/2013

    " This is an important book, and as someone under 30, I can say that this is true of my generation. The irony is that the information is in a book, the very medium we don't read. To be fair, this may be equally aimed at the over 30 crowd too, as he does address older generations as well. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Krexmundo72 | 12/15/2013

    " Bauerlein highlights the significant irony of a generation with unparalleled access to the world that all too frequently insulates itself in a pod of social networking and popular media consumption. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Laura | 9/16/2013

    " I started out thinking this made a lot of sense... then it got a bit extremist for my taste. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ms. S........... | 6/27/2013

    " Probably nothing you don't already know, but put forth in an effective way. Makes me want to be a better mentor to the kids I come in contact with. Reading is so important! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kyle | 3/14/2013

    " It was eerie how much of what Bauerlein was saying in his book I noticed, not only among the students I sub for, but some of my peers as well. This book is a must read for any English or social studies teacher. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mary | 5/18/2012

    " This is great research on our narcissistic culture that is fueled by poor parenting and abundant and misused technology. When did we decide to let TV, ipad, the internet, etc. replace our relationships? A must read for parents who fantasize that technology alone is going to create brilliance. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kyle | 3/23/2012

    " A little repetitive, but it does fit. It definitely explains a lot of things that I have observed first-hand in the current "digital generation". "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kim | 5/23/2011

    " This is an excellent book. It really confirms my thoughts on the changes I have noticed in teenagers over the last 10 years. A must read for teachers and parents. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Anna | 5/18/2011

    " Had onset promise. Curmudgeon? I think so. Bauerlein has his valid points but he fills page after page with filler (statistics) in order to convince his readers that "dumb" is the proper word to describe the generation of the "Millenials." Oversimplified argument. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ameer | 5/12/2011

    " very repetitive.

    after the first chapter one does not have to read any further. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elescia | 3/23/2011

    " Full of scary, scary facts of how the internet is dumbing down our children and possibly destroying our social and economical structure. One of those books where every couple of pages I had to stop, turn to my husband and say, "Did you know...?!!" "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lynsey | 3/2/2011

    " It was eye opening, life changing and awe inspiring. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jason | 2/11/2011

    " Didn't love it. He made some good points, but mostly the same point over and over. Was very dry in some areas, but I have been reading other books with this theme, and it provides some thoughtful introspection with today's youth. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mary | 1/29/2011

    " This is great research on our narcissistic culture that is fueled by poor parenting and abundant and misused technology. When did we decide to let TV, ipad, the internet, etc. replace our relationships? A must read for parents who fantasize that technology alone is going to create brilliance. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Leah | 1/4/2011

    " Don't waste your time. I'm sorry I did. "

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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.

About the Narrator

Danny Campbell is an actor who has appeared in CBS’ The Guardian, the films A Pool, a Fool, and a Duel and Greater Than Gravity, and in over twenty-five commercials. Winner of two AudioFile Earphones Awards, he has narrated Once a Spy by Keith Thomson and read the part of David Foster Wallace in Mike Lipsky’s Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself, among many others. He is a member of the adjunct faculty in the theater arts department at Santa Monica College.