Customer Reviews for

The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future (Or, Don't Trust Anyone Under 30)

Average Rating 3
( 25 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(3)

4 Star

(9)

3 Star

(6)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(4)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

Most Helpful Favorable Review

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

Not necessarily the dumbest, but certainly one that doesn't seem to read

The hyperbole of the title it eyecatching; however, I take issue with the generation's being labeled the dumbest. The major thesis, it seems to me, is that the current generation of young people (my own children's age) is too much wired into instantaneous communication...
The hyperbole of the title it eyecatching; however, I take issue with the generation's being labeled the dumbest. The major thesis, it seems to me, is that the current generation of young people (my own children's age) is too much wired into instantaneous communication and only considers the immediate to be relevant.
I would submit that while the first part of the thesis is correct, the latter part is one probably applied by every generation to the one following it.
The book is something of an eye-opener for most people, I would think; however, as a retired teacher, I have seen this coming all along. I would submit that everyone would gain some benefir from reading it, but of course, the people that would gain the most benefit are the ones that the author is writing about.

posted by Virginian_by_Birth on July 26, 2009

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review

Most Helpful Critical Review

5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

One of the worst books I ever read

As a member of this so called, "Dumbest Generation," I am offended by this book, and have every right to be. Bauerlein makes no solutions as to how to fix this problem he calls the Digital Age. It's just a bunch of statistics that go on and on for pages. The statistics ...
As a member of this so called, "Dumbest Generation," I am offended by this book, and have every right to be. Bauerlein makes no solutions as to how to fix this problem he calls the Digital Age. It's just a bunch of statistics that go on and on for pages. The statistics are doing all of the talking. Bauerlein fails to mention his take on each statistic. I understand that he thinks my generation will fail, but why? He offers no strong theories or well developed arguments. Just a whole bunch of percentages and numbers and facts.

The theories he does expand on I found invalid. Saying that teenagers need to see more ballets and/or classical music concerts is absurd. He actually expects that of a busy school aged person? He even dares to call the Harry Potter Book series a fashion statement. He claims that kids read the books because their friends were, not because they actually wanted to read for fun. Most of the concepts he suggested I disagreed with. So much so, that I found it frustrating to read. I actually had to put down the book because I was so angered by his words.

I will be the first to agree that this younger generation is different and some things that we do will be bad. But this book will make everybody give up on our generation. There is a war between the older and younger generations according to Bauerlein, and this book did absolutely nothing to help either side. I see the potential and the innovations that the Digital Age has brought. But Mr. Bauerlein clearly has given up on the people who WILL one day be running this country.

I gave the book two stars because I felt one star would be too harsh for a guy who is clearly delusional and forgot that it is HIS generation who has made my generation the way it is.

posted by 10593454 on December 30, 2011

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 25 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 2
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2011

    One of the worst books I ever read

    As a member of this so called, "Dumbest Generation," I am offended by this book, and have every right to be. Bauerlein makes no solutions as to how to fix this problem he calls the Digital Age. It's just a bunch of statistics that go on and on for pages. The statistics are doing all of the talking. Bauerlein fails to mention his take on each statistic. I understand that he thinks my generation will fail, but why? He offers no strong theories or well developed arguments. Just a whole bunch of percentages and numbers and facts.

    The theories he does expand on I found invalid. Saying that teenagers need to see more ballets and/or classical music concerts is absurd. He actually expects that of a busy school aged person? He even dares to call the Harry Potter Book series a fashion statement. He claims that kids read the books because their friends were, not because they actually wanted to read for fun. Most of the concepts he suggested I disagreed with. So much so, that I found it frustrating to read. I actually had to put down the book because I was so angered by his words.

    I will be the first to agree that this younger generation is different and some things that we do will be bad. But this book will make everybody give up on our generation. There is a war between the older and younger generations according to Bauerlein, and this book did absolutely nothing to help either side. I see the potential and the innovations that the Digital Age has brought. But Mr. Bauerlein clearly has given up on the people who WILL one day be running this country.

    I gave the book two stars because I felt one star would be too harsh for a guy who is clearly delusional and forgot that it is HIS generation who has made my generation the way it is.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 26, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Not necessarily the dumbest, but certainly one that doesn't seem to read

    The hyperbole of the title it eyecatching; however, I take issue with the generation's being labeled the dumbest. The major thesis, it seems to me, is that the current generation of young people (my own children's age) is too much wired into instantaneous communication and only considers the immediate to be relevant.
    I would submit that while the first part of the thesis is correct, the latter part is one probably applied by every generation to the one following it.
    The book is something of an eye-opener for most people, I would think; however, as a retired teacher, I have seen this coming all along. I would submit that everyone would gain some benefir from reading it, but of course, the people that would gain the most benefit are the ones that the author is writing about.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2010

    Generation Last?

    Last night, Betty White hosted NBC's 'Saturday Night Live' after a massive online campaign fueled by 'Millennials'caused a massive buzz in the media. Conan O'Brien will be returning to TV later this year thanks to the internet based activism of his fans. This speaks volumes. While the Boomers fought for social change, the Millennials seem to be fighting for solely for their own amusement and entertainment. In the 1960's there were the Freedom Riders fighting the injustices of racial segregation. There were Nader's Raiders leading the charge against corporate dominance. In today's tanking economy, the Millennials seem to care more about Conan O'Brien's job security than their own.

    No, I am not an over the hill Boomer griping about "those damn kids." I qualify as a Millennial. I am under 30 and a bit concerned that my generation has its priorities backwards. I do not own an iPod, I am not on Facebook, I rarely surf the web, and prefer to get my news from print. I must seem to my peers as a 20-something George Wallace supporter seemed to the hippie of 1968.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    A good topic focus but overly statistical!

    Generally was a good read. But I soon found myself skimming over the large amount of statistical data that took away from the larger theme of the emergent social problem with our "millinials". His point was not as compelling as it could have been given the subject and our current poor state of affairs in the education arena.<BR/>Having read another author on the subject just prior to this book, it was glaringly apparent that the previous book on this subject area was far better. Charles Murray's recent book is a reality check that clearly brought into focus for me the stark facts of our problem. I strongly recommend this book as opposed to Bauerlein's.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 3, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Can you say "Grumpy old man?"

    He's right: this generation [myself included:] can internet themselves stupid, and I surely don't use the internet for entirely intellectual pursuits, but he offers exactly ZERO solutions. Shall we disconnect the internet?<BR/><BR/>Bottom line: read more classics, see more plays, listen to better music, go to more museums.<BR/><BR/>Classic grumpy-old-man. Full of supporting arguments, and I don't deny his claim, but with no solutions, it's just 230-something pages of the same painful complaints.<BR/><BR/>I get it: my generation's screwed up. What do YOU suggest we do about it?<BR/><BR/>Sheesh. Makes me want to put on my iPod and play my Xbox.

    2 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2012

    Manifesto of an angry teacher

    This book is ultimately counterproductive to the very thesis it tries to support. I don't understand how telling me im stupid is supposed to solve anything. It is just offensive.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 29, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    tricky title

    A. About the title

    Purchased the hardcover July 2008. I was going on a trip. I wanted a real book - non-fiction, non-computer-oriented, and non-how-to. I wanted meaty. I wanted the book skinny and lightweight. To feel more astute, like university. Found "The Dumbest Generation" in the InfoAge section at my favorite brick-n-mortar bookstore.

    The title aside, Professor Bauerlein's book was more than fun. I was taken by it.

    Checked the author blurb, skimmed the table of contents, and a few chapters. I was curious what "dumbest" meant, how it was quantified, and what were the relationships and measuring sticks.

    To me, the statisticals matter more than answers. The factoids were news to me.

    Liked the book. I have quoted it, spoken about it, and purchased it for friends. Back in July 2008, I went through it once, then a second time. I noted pages and passages. Not many. Just a handful of nuggets.

    Until November 27, 2009, I still didn't like the title. And yet, when purchasing books for my Gen Xer nephew and niece for Christmas, I ordered another copy for myself. I had given my hardcover copy. 2008 away at work. I still had my nugget notes.

    Today, I looked up "dumb" on the internet. And, I received my new copy, the paperback edition copy. 2009. There's a new preface. I checked it. And reviewed the introduction, looking for Professor Bauerlein's declaration of "dumb".

    It remains hidden. I believe purposely so. As a Baby Boomer and voter, I appreciate Professor Bauerlein's tact. What's dumb?

    B. About Reading, and Writing

    In the last few months, I read "How to Read a Book" rev. 2007 by Mortimer Adler and Charles Van Doren. I like Adler, and in these uncertain times, I thought it would be a help in dealing with problem definitions, and proposed solutions. Not just books, but all reading, and writing.

    Adler's prose is crystal. His examples are discrete and sharp. He wrote "From your point of view as a reader, the most important words are 'those that give you trouble'. It is likely that these words are important for the author as well." Chapter 8 Coming to Terms with an Author.

    Now the title means more.

    Definition of "generation" - A form, type, class, etc., of objects existing at the same time and having many similarities or developed from a common model or ancestor.

    I was in college in the late sixties. I was online with bulletin boards in the DOS days. Was I a prototype for the title? Just maybe.

    C. A Nugget note - Introduction, pg. 10
    "... All the ingredients for making an informed and intelligent citizen are in place.
    But it hasn't happened ....
    This book explains why and how, and how much, and what it means for the civic health of the United States."

    D. Another Nugget note - Chapter Six - No More Culture Warriors, the last chapter, pg. 231
    "... In a prosperous society, the institutions of learning lean toward insulation and professionalism, while popular discourse drops to the least common denominator of mass culture. Intellectuals draw both back from the extremes, synthesizing them into the best democratic communication, an intelligent analysis of ideas and facts accessible to vast audiences."

    E. The content - The content is elegantly crafted, as in "read aloud", and worth considering. In an American way. Ironically, the Gen Xers will need to save themselves. Also, American.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 28, 2012

    Recommended for Everybody Interested in Where We are Headed

    After a slow start, the author cites his evidence to support the book's thesis. The book is very well-researched, and is compelling, if not depressing. Despite the apparently flippant title, the book is an academically-grounded work that I found convincing and probably accurate. It confirms some stereotypes while explaining their causes. Everybody who cares about where our society is headed should read this book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 21, 2009

    Good summary, but scary picture, of America's future

    I would agree with some of the other reviewers that the author's lament has probably, and probably always will be, applied to the younger generations. I would also say that it might be a little too "academic" for some readers. All that said, it is worth reading, especially if you're mid-career like me, to try to understand some of the new and future coworkers. The first chapter alone, when he discussed the "Jaywalking" segments is enough to make anyone cringe. Given that the younger generation has all the technology available that they do, you do have to wonder why they seem to know so little about the world around them.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 14, 2009

    An Interesting Argument

    I went to ParentsDigest.com for help on understanding teens and this summary caught my attention. I think perhaps the author's argument is oversimplified, but his basic premise is plausible. I do think we should try to put ourselves in this generation's shoes since we 'older folks' did not have any of this technology, not to mention the social networking, that kids have access to today. It is easy for us to condemn them for relying heavily on gadgets that we did not have and so were not a problem for us to resist.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 27, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 15, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 25 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 2