The Dumbest Generation Grows Up: From Stupefied Youth to Dangerous Adults (Hardcover)
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Back in 2008, Mark Bauerlein was a voice crying in the wilderness. As experts greeted the new generation of “digital natives” with extravagant hopes for their high-tech future, he pegged them as “the Dumbest Generation.”
Today, their future doesn’t look so bright, and their present is pretty grim. The twenty-somethings who spent their childhoods staring into a screen are lonely, purposeless, and unemployable. Many of them are even suicidal. The Dumbest Generation Grows Up is an urgently needed update on the Millennials, explaining their not-so-quiet desperation and, more important, the threat that their ignorance poses to the rest of us.
Lacking skills, friendships, ambitions, knowledge, religion, or a cultural frame of reference, Millennials are anxiously looking for something to fill the void. Unfortunately, they have turned to politics to plug the hole in their souls.
Knowing nothing about history, they are convinced that it is merely a catalogue of oppression, inequality, and hatred. Why, they wonder, has the human race not ended all this injustice before now? And from the depths of their ignorance rises the answer: Because they are the first ones to care! All that is needed is to tear down our inherited civilization and replace it with the products of their narcissistic aspirations. For a generation unacquainted with the constraints of human nature, anything seems possible.
Millennials cannot be blamed, of course, for not learning what no one taught them. Young people who don’t read books, don’t study history, and are left to marinate in games and social media cannot appreciate the civilization that should have been handed down to them but wasn’t. In short, they are suckers for utopian nonsense.
Having diagnosed the malady before most people realized the patient was sick, Mark Bauerlein surveys the psychological and social wreckage inflicted by cultural deprivation and warns that we cannot afford to do this to another generation.
About the Author
MARK BAUERLEIN is an editor at First Things and Emeritus Professor of English at Emory University. The author of five previous books including The Dumbest Generation, his writings have appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and numerous other publications. Bauerlein holds a Ph.D. from UCLA and resides in Alexandria, VA, with his wife and son.