In last year's OBOC selection—Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis—author Robert Putnam offers a rare combination of individual testimony and rigorous evidence in a personal but also authoritative look at the emergence of a disturbing "opportunity gap" in America over the last twenty-five years.
Americans have always believed in equality of opportunity, the idea that all kids, regardless of their family background, should have a decent chance to improve their lot in life. Putnam begins with his high school class of 1959 in Port Clinton, Ohio, whose graduates consistently went on to lives better than those of their parents.
He then examines our present-day country where this central tenet of the American Dream seems no longer to hold true: Today's kids face harder lives amid diminishing prospects, especially those who start with a socio-economic disadvantage. Putnam tells this tale of lessening opportunity through poignant life stories of rich and poor kids from cities and suburbs across the country while also drawing on a formidable body of research.
(Excerpted and condensed from Amazon.com)