A provocative look at how a changing reality is transforming the transition to adulthood for a generation of Americans, and...

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NOT QUITE ADULTS

WHY 20-SOMETHINGS ARE CHOOSING A SLOWER PATH TO ADULTHOOD, AND WHY IT'S GOOD FOR EVERYONE

How young adults and their families are navigating a rapidly changing economy.

With the assistance of Ray, the former communications director for the MacArthur Research Network on Transitions to Adulthood, Settersten (Human Development and Family Sciences/Oregon State Univ.; co-editor: On the Frontier of Adulthood, 2005, etc.) draws on an eight-year study, sponsored by the MacArthur Foundation, into the social and financial lives of young Americans between the ages of 18 and 34. Many are still living at home or are dependant upon families who are increasingly unable to provide support. While in the past it was possible for high-school dropouts to find well-paid factory jobs that allowed them to take on adult responsibilities, today an associate’s degree from a community college is the minimum necessary to avoid being tracked into a low-paying service-sector job and “a vicious cycle of debt” and dependency. Middle-class parents have seen their home equity and savings vanish, money that they had depended upon to finance their children’s college expenses. Meanwhile, young people are “treading water,” fearful of incurring large student loans in a shrinking job market. This is creating a widening gap between the vast majority of young adults, who are struggling to keep afloat, and the children of affluent parents whom the author calls “swimmers”—those who depend on their families for generous financial support during and after college. Despite the differences in their circumstances, both “swimmers” and “treaders” are failing to meet the traditional milestones of living independently, marrying and having children while in their early 20s. “Today,” writes the author, “one-half of those between eighteen and twenty-four have not left their childhood bedrooms, let alone landed a job, married, or had children of their own. This is a 37 percent increase over 1970. And an even bigger jump in living at home has occurred for those ages twenty-five through thirty-four—a 139 percent increase since 1970.”

A provocative look at how a changing reality is transforming the transition to adulthood for a generation of Americans, and the implications of this transformation in today’s competitive world.

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-553-80740-0

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Aug. 16, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2010

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No one’s mind will be changed by Karl’s book, but it’s a valuable report from the scene of an ongoing train wreck.

FRONT ROW AT THE TRUMP SHOW

The chief White House and Washington correspondent for ABC provides a ringside seat to a disaster-ridden Oval Office.

It is Karl to whom we owe the current popularity of a learned Latin term. Questioning chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, he followed up a perhaps inadvertently honest response on the matter of Ukrainian intervention in the electoral campaign by saying, “What you just described is a quid pro quo.” Mulvaney’s reply: “Get over it.” Karl, who has been covering Trump for decades and knows which buttons to push and which to avoid, is not inclined to get over it: He rightly points out that a reporter today “faces a president who seems to have no appreciation or understanding of the First Amendment and the role of a free press in American democracy.” Yet even against a bellicose, untruthful leader, he adds, the press “is not the opposition party.” The author, who keeps his eye on the subject and not in the mirror, writes of Trump’s ability to stage situations, as when he once called Trump out, at an event, for misrepresenting poll results and Trump waited until the camera was off before exploding, “Fucking nasty guy!”—then finished up the interview as if nothing had happened. Trump and his inner circle are also, by Karl’s account, masters of timing, matching negative news such as the revelation that Russia had interfered in the 2016 election with distractions away from Trump—in this case, by pushing hard on the WikiLeaks emails from the Democratic campaign, news of which arrived at the same time. That isn’t to say that they manage people or the nation well; one of the more damning stories in a book full of them concerns former Homeland Security head Kirstjen Nielsen, cut off at the knees even while trying to do Trump’s bidding.

No one’s mind will be changed by Karl’s book, but it’s a valuable report from the scene of an ongoing train wreck.

Pub Date: March 31, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5247-4562-2

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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Dramatic, immersive, and wanting—much like desire itself.

THREE WOMEN

Based on eight years of reporting and thousands of hours of interaction, a journalist chronicles the inner worlds of three women’s erotic desires.

In her dramatic debut about “what longing in America looks like,” Taddeo, who has contributed to Esquire, Elle, and other publications, follows the sex lives of three American women. On the surface, each woman’s story could be a soap opera. There’s Maggie, a teenager engaged in a secret relationship with her high school teacher; Lina, a housewife consumed by a torrid affair with an old flame; and Sloane, a wealthy restaurateur encouraged by her husband to sleep with other people while he watches. Instead of sensationalizing, the author illuminates Maggie’s, Lina’s, and Sloane’s erotic experiences in the context of their human complexities and personal histories, revealing deeper wounds and emotional yearnings. Lina’s infidelity was driven by a decade of her husband’s romantic and sexual refusal despite marriage counseling and Lina's pleading. Sloane’s Fifty Shades of Grey–like lifestyle seems far less exotic when readers learn that she has felt pressured to perform for her husband's pleasure. Taddeo’s coverage is at its most nuanced when she chronicles Maggie’s decision to go to the authorities a few years after her traumatic tryst. Recounting the subsequent trial against Maggie’s abuser, the author honors the triumph of Maggie’s courageous vulnerability as well as the devastating ramifications of her community’s disbelief. Unfortunately, this book on “female desire” conspicuously omits any meaningful discussion of social identities beyond gender and class; only in the epilogue does Taddeo mention race and its impacts on women's experiences with sex and longing. Such oversight brings a palpable white gaze to the narrative. Compounded by the author’s occasionally lackluster prose, the book’s flaws compete with its meaningful contribution to #MeToo–era reporting.

Dramatic, immersive, and wanting—much like desire itself.

Pub Date: July 9, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4516-4229-2

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Avid Reader Press

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2019

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