Welcome to the resource website for Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis. This book has been selected as the common reader for the 2015-2016 year for our Program for Learning and Community Engagement PLACE!
Please explore the tabs at the top of the page for a variety of other resources by other authors that may be of interest.
What is the Common Reading Program?
This is a program in which students, faculty, and staff participate in shared reading and learning experiences. The common reading program at Texas A&M University - Texarkana strategically aligns with the university’s annual theme program and lecture series.
Students in the First Year Experience program will participate in shared discussions, curricular, and co-curricular activities related to the common reader.
Having a shared source for such topics provides a common ground for students and their professors, and stimulates discussions as well as learning experiences. Sharing the same reading topics lends themselves to presentations in the lecture series and discussions between students and faculty within and beyond the classroom.
Aside from the anecdotes, the bulk of “Our Kids” is an omnibus of social-science scholarship. The book's chief and authoritative contribution is its careful presentation for a popular audience of important work on the erosion, in the past half century, of so many forms of social, economic, and political support for families, schools, and communities—with consequences that amount to what Silva and others have called the “privatization of risk.” - The New Yorker
An insightful book that paints a disturbing picture of the collapse of the working class and the growth of an upper class that seems to be largely unaware of the other's precarious existence. - Kirkus Reviews
“Our Kids is a superb achievement. Through vivid portraits of children and lucid syntheses of research findings, Putnam offers an incisive diagnosis of why true equality of opportunity has largely disappeared in the U.S. and its economics and democratic costs for all Americans, including the well-off. Most importantly, he offers a comprehensive set of policy proposals, from early childhood daycare and more parental coaching to more inclusive extracurricular programs at school and consistent mentoring programs, that are most likely to reverse the opportunity gap. Our Kids will be the best roadmap for America’s next important social reform.”
— Ezekiel J. Emanuel, M.D., Ph.D., Vice Provost and Chair of the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania