The Rise and Fall of the American Teenager

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9780380728534: The Rise and Fall of the American Teenager

In the groundbreaking work, Thomas Hine examines the American teenager as a social invention shaped by the needs of the twentieth century. With intelligence, insight, imagination, and humorm he traces the culture of youth in America-from the spiritual trials of young Puritans and the vision quests of Native Americans to the media-blitzed consumerism of contempory thirteen-to-nineteen -year-olds. The resulting study is a glorious appreciation of youth that challenges us to confront our sterotypesm, rethink our expectations, and consider anew the lives of those individuals who are blessing, our bane, and our future.

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Review:

Providing a historical perspective on a modern phenomenon is no easy task, but Thomas Hine has done an admirable job cataloging that ever-changing creature we know as the American teenager. Beginning with a look at colonial times and ending with the present-day burger-flipping menaces portrayed in the press, The Rise and Fall of the American Teenager is a fascinating look at a culture that we take for granted in these times, yet is quite a recent development. Looking deeply at the economic and educational realities of people ages 10 through 20 over the last 300 years, Hine takes readers through a world where teens were expected to contribute greatly to their family's financial well-being; in fact, in the early years of the industrial revolution, employers would often refuse to hire the head of the household unless he had several sons to offer as part of a package deal. While the first few chapters cover 50 to 100 years in one shot, time moves less rapidly beginning with the 20th century, and each decade earns its own complete chapter. Using personal stories from revolutionary-era students, 19th-century millworkers and immigrants, and classic all-American cheerleaders from the 1950s, we're given an accurate picture of what life was really like for inexperienced kids. The evolution of modern education is closely examined and will provide a wealth of interesting insights for today's educators. What was once meant as a viable alternative to the college experience has now simply become a holding pen for teens, some who may go on to a university, some who are destined to join the ranks of the perpetually underemployed. The last chapter offers a few possible suggestions for bringing realistic change into the current system; the rest of the book is sure to provide plenty of inspiration for readers to invent their own set of educational possibilities. --Jill Lightner

About the Author:

Thomas Hine, the author of four previous books, including Populuxe and The Total Package, is a writer on culture, history, and design. He is a columnist for Philadelphia Magazine and a contributor to the Atlantic Monthly, Martha Stewart Living, Architectural Record, the Washington Post, the New York Times, and other publications. He Lives in Philadelphia.

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Book Description HARPER PERENNIAL, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. In the groundbreaking work, Thomas Hine examines the American teenager as a social invention shaped by the needs of the twentieth century. With intelligence, insight, imagination, and humorm he traces the culture of youth in America-from the spiritual trials of young Puritans and the vision quests of Native Americans to the media-blitzed consumerism of contempory thirteen-to-nineteen -year-olds. The resulting study is a glorious appreciation of youth that challenges us to confront our sterotypesm, rethink our expectations, and consider anew the lives of those individuals who are blessing, our bane, and our future. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780380728534

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