Communications Department

Book Info:

Available at
ISBN: 1566634954
224 pages

Liberation's Children: Parents and Kids in a Postmodern Age

Booklist Review, 5/1/03

Most education criticism focuses on poor children’s schooling and assumes that more money would make it better. Hymowitz’s literate articles on the education of upper-middle-class children, from day care to university, argue that money buys a different, not necessarily a better, education. She shows high-achieving parents cramming their tots for entrance exams at elite day-care centers and kindergartens, and in general attending to cognitive rather than social development. The tykes they deposit in elementary schools lack manners, fellow feeling, and due respect for authority, and since court rulings exalting students’ individual rights have derailed school discipline, the kids are successively worse in middle and high school. Hymowitz doesn’t blame the schools per se, however, as much as she scores such encompassing phenomena as sexual liberation, postmodern nonjudgementalism, and what she catchily dubs ecstatic capitalism, in which the workplace becomes the arena of all meaningful achievement and validation. This is a collection rather than one long essay, and among its rewarding side trips from the main thrust are penetrating disscetions of Sesame Street and contemporary feminism. –Ray Olson


Liberation's Children.