The Vanishing American Adult by Ben Sasse
Our Coming-of-Age Crisis--and How to Rebuild a Culture of Self-Reliance

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It must be nice to be Ben Sasse, in a position to pick and choose the hardships one will adopt in order to learn some life lessons — and to feel morally superior for having triumphed over phony adversity.
-NY Times

Synopsis

THE INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

In an era of safe spaces, trigger warnings, and an unprecedented election, the country's youth are in crisis. Senator Ben Sasse warns the nation about the existential threat to America's future.

Raised by well-meaning but overprotective parents and coddled by well-meaning but misbegotten government programs, America's youth are ill-equipped to survive in our highly-competitive global economy.

Many of the coming-of-age rituals that have defined the American experience since the Founding: learning the value of working with your hands, leaving home to start a family, becoming economically self-reliant—are being delayed or skipped altogether. The statistics are daunting: 30% of college students drop out after the first year, and only 4 in 10 graduate. One in three 18-to-34 year-olds live with their parents.

From these disparate phenomena: Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse who as president of a Midwestern college observed the trials of this generation up close, sees an existential threat to the American way of life.

In The Vanishing American Adult, Sasse diagnoses the causes of a generation that can't grow up and offers a path for raising children to become active and engaged citizens. He identifies core formative experiences that all young people should pursue: hard work to appreciate the benefits of labor, travel to understand deprivation and want, the power of reading, the importance of nurturing your body—and explains how parents can encourage them.

Our democracy depends on responsible, contributing adults to function properly—without them America falls prey to populist demagogues. A call to arms, The Vanishing American Adult will ignite a much-needed debate about the link between the way we're raising our children and the future of our country.

 

About Ben Sasse

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U.S. Senator Ben Sasse is a fifth-generation Nebraskan. He attended public school in Fremont, Neb., and spent his summers working soybean and corn fields. He was recruited to wrestle at Harvard before attending Oxford and later earning a Ph.D. in American history from Yale. Sasse spent five years as president of Midland University back in his hometown. Ben and his wife, Melissa, live in Nebraska but are homeschooling their three children as they commute weekly back and forth to Washington, DC.
 
Published May 16, 2017 by St. Martin's Griffin. 320 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Self Help, Parenting & Relationships, Law & Philosophy. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on Jun 11 2017
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Critic reviews for The Vanishing American Adult
All: 4 | Positive: 3 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Above average
on Mar 28 2017

Sasse makes a host of debatable assertions, but he also makes a simple, sensible call for an informed electorate.

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NY Times

Below average
Reviewed by Jennifer Szalai on May 15 2017

It must be nice to be Ben Sasse, in a position to pick and choose the hardships one will adopt in order to learn some life lessons — and to feel morally superior for having triumphed over phony adversity.

Read Full Review of The Vanishing American Adult:... | See more reviews from NY Times

Lincoln Journal Star

Above average
Reviewed by ANDREW WILLIS on May 21 2017

“The Vanishing American Adult” offers a worthwhile reminder that our families are far more important than politics, and developing the next generation needs to be addressed without the help of Washington D.C.

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National Review Online

Good
Reviewed by Heather Wilhelm on May 24 2017

Ben Sasse’s The Vanishing American Adult is ostensibly a parenting guide, and indeed, it serves as an excellent one.

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Reader Rating for The Vanishing American Adult
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