The Road to Whatever by Elliott Currie
Middle-Class Culture and the Crisis of Adolescence

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From the Pulitzer Prize finalist, a sharp and compassionate investigation of the root causes of the epidemic of drug abuse, violence, and despair among "mainstream" American teenagers

In the past few years, it has become painfully clear that all is not well with the children of middle-class America. Beyond the shootings at Columbine, hardly a day goes by without stories of drug use, binge drinking, fatal accidents, and senseless suicides among middle-class adolescents. But the "why" of these tragedies has eluded us.

In this groundbreaking book, acclaimed sociologist and Pulitzer Prize finalist Elliott Currie rejects such predictable answers as TV violence, permissiveness, and inherent evil. Instead, drawing on years of interviews, he links this crisis to a pervasive "culture of exclusion" that has left young people facing an ever more unforgiving world. Currie describes a society in which severe punishment and "zero tolerance" of adolescent misbehavior have become the norm, where "tough love" and medications have replaced engagement and guidance. Broadening his inquiry, he dissects the changes in middle-class life that have enforced newly rigid divides between winners and losers and imposed an extraordinarily harsh culture-and not just on kids.

Vivid, compelling, and deeply empathetic, The Road to Whatever is a profound investigation of what has gone wrong for so many American teenagers and a stark indictment of a society that has lost the will-or the capacity-to care.


About Elliott Currie

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Elliott Currie is the author of Confronting Crime, Reckoning, and Crime and Punishment in America (0-8050-6016-2). An internationally recognized authority on youth and crime, he is a professor of criminology, law, and society at the University of California, Irvine.
Published December 27, 2005 by Metropolitan Books. 318 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, Political & Social Sciences, Children's Books, Parenting & Relationships, Professional & Technical, History, Self Help. Non-fiction

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Harsh criticism of middle-class American culture, one pervaded by a new form of social Darwinism that places its youth at increasingly high risk for the ills long associated with disadvantaged adolescents.

Feb 01 2005 | Read Full Review of The Road to Whatever: Middle-...

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