A perceptive, thorough and eye-opening critical study of a serious and only recently acknowledged problem--the estimated one million runaways who turn up on city streets or in college towns and religious communes. Chapman found that these youngsters are predominantly middle-class but in no way disturbed (as some psychiatrists contend). Their motivation, transcending ""economics, sex, intelligence,"" is the conflict at home where parents are too strict, too demanding or just too obtuse. Schools are sometimes partially responsible. But ultimately they are running from a society ""that refuses to admit the gravity of adolescence"" nor denies its children respect, acceptance, and more importantly love. There are case history/interpretations of both old and young, including contrasts of the flower children of the '60's with the new runaways who have no cause but their own. The author sees this growing phenomenon as more than a family affair--as a serious, perplexing social issue centering on ""the state of the family and the condition of the state"" with no easy answers beyond the honest and balanced perspective here provided.