The Vanishing American Adult

  • by Ben Sasse
  • Narrated by Ben Sasse
  • 11 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

An instant New York Times best seller - read by the author.
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.


What the Critics Say

"Former college president and now U.S. Senator Ben Sasse reads with the clarity and confidence of a voice pro in this friendly warning aimed at America's parents, teachers, and governing officials." (AudioFile Magazine)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A truly non-partisan essay on being an American

I am a Democrat. I have never crossed the party line to vote for a Republican. This book is so visionary and well written that I am seriously reconsidering my absolute unwillingness to do so. Ben Sasse is a historian statesman cut from the same cloth as Cicero. He presents here and argument for America as an idea rather than a legislative agenda, and it is really inspiring. I highly recommend this book.
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- Anne

Really Important book about work, kids and school

From a Blue State Progressive Democrat...this is the work of a real conservative politician, but it is sound, brilliant and well informed. Ben Sasse is the kind of conservative liberals can listen to and agree with. He Obviously listens as well and knows his onions. He has a very good moral compass. If Congress were all as bright and decent and willing to take a deep and long view as does as Ben Sasse we would all join hands and agree. As it is this is a very important book by a master historian. All American parents should read this. Senator Sasse has his finger on the button of teenage education like no one else. A little bit too long is the only criticism I have of this excellent work.
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- Rosemary

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-16-2017
  • Publisher: Macmillan Audio