What To Do About the Children
At the dawn of the 20th century there was every reason to believe that ours would be (in the title of a best-selling book at the time) “the century of the child.” From the early part of the 1900′s through the 1950′s, despite ups and downs, despite Depression and war, things got better in almost every area touching the welfare of American children: economic security improved, material earnings increased, medicine progressed, family structure was stable, children occupied a valued place in society, and our civic institutions were strong and resilient. In retrospect, it seems as if the midpoint of the century was a high point for the well-being of children.
By the 1960′s, however, America began a steep and uninterrupted slide toward what might be called decivilization. Although every stratum of society has been affected, the worst problems have been concentrated within America’s inner cities. No age group has remained untouched, but the most punishing blows have been absorbed by children.
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