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Required Reading: Our Kids

Stria Staff November 3, 2018

EXPERT RECOMMENDATION: Ryan Frederick, founder of Smart Living 360 and developer of intergenerational communities, is a 2018 Encore Public Voices Fellow.

“Putnam, a social scientist at Harvard, has given greater awareness to the term “social capital”—meaning the value of networks of relationships among people who live and work in a particular society. His book outlines a role we all can have in helping each other, and especially next generation of youth, thrive in the future.”

Ryan Frederick, CEO SmartLiving 360

Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis
by Robert Putnam

Central to the very idea of America is the principle that we are a nation of opportunity. But over the last quarter century we have seen a disturbing “opportunity gap” emerge. We Americans have always believed that those who have talent and try hard will succeed, but this central tenet of the American Dream seems no longer true or at the least, much less true than it was.

In Our Kids, Robert Putnam offers a personal and authoritative look at this new American crisis, beginning with the example of his high school class of 1959 in Port Clinton, Ohio. The vast majority of those students went on to lives better than those of their parents. But their children and grandchildren have faced diminishing prospects. Putnam tells the tale of lessening opportunity through poignant life stories of rich, middle class, and poor kids from cities and suburbs across the country, brilliantly blended with the latest social-science research. (From the publisher)


Ryan shared his take on how to bring purposeful living to senior communities. Read his essay for Stria.

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