SUBURBIA'S CODDLED KIDS by Peter Wyden

SUBURBIA'S CODDLED KIDS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Considering the brutal muggings that the barbecue pit and its appurtenances have received at the hands of the social critics, it is really astonishing that the kids by the coals have been left pretty much unmolested...Unmolested, that is, until suburbanite Peter Wyden took his two boys walking. They passed an industrial slum on the outskirts of residential Highland park, Illinois. To the sight of a poor urchin peering through an unpainted window at him, Wyden's 10 year old reached: ""Look, Daddy, a frontier kid."" And this, so the story goes, set the journalist off on an investigation of the American dream environment responsible for the breeding of such innocence and of the innocents themselves. 18,000,000 of them -- Suburbia's Coddled Kids. He used as his laboratory two economically dissimilar communities, Highland Park, Illinois and Belief, Missouri. But through them Wyden explored ""the suburban soul"". He studied a group of youngsters who almost never see their grandparents or anyone much older than mon and dad, to whom a streetcar ride is a rarity, a cross country plane ride commonplace. He was introduced to the concepts of de rigeus Winter tans, cashmere sweater counts and crime for kicks -- in the jargon of the sociologists ""a subdivision of isolated affluence"", quite unique in our times. An astounding document, an extremely entertaining presentation, Wyden's work will undoubtedly make the rounds of the talk shows. It has to go well.

Publisher: Doubleday