- Paperback: 296 pages
- Publisher: Vintage (August 12, 1962)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0394700325
- ISBN-13: 978-0394700328
- Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 4.5 x 7.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #404,160 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Growing Up Absurd: Problems of Youth in the Organized System Paperback – August 12, 1962
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Top Customer Reviews
In retrospect, however, it's good that I was determined to be upwardly mobile. The kind of job I had in 1967 may or may not still exist, but it certainly does not pay the bills which accumulate when raising a family. Working class and working poor have, indeed, become coterminous. This is not something that Goodman foresaw, but in the '60's neither did anyone else except an occasional Marxist who didn't think Keynesian fiscal policy would work well forever.
Even in the '60's, however, and with regard to the hardy and conventional working class, Goodman raised pertinent, and entirely new to me, questions such as "Why would anyone find satisfaction in working as a mechanic repairing trucks that delivered the New York Times?Read more ›
Oh... wait... this was written in 1959? But there's all that government-business collusion? And the outrageous pharmaceutical industry and media monopolization scandals? And the hope for the near-future?
1959?! How stinkin' depressing! Great book. Read it; maybe the world is ripe for change.
Okay, the part about Russia is dated.
I continue to believe that Goodman is strongest in his critiques on the nature of work, both in this book, and in his excellent "Communitas," which he co-authored with his brother, Percival. Once mankind mastered the "means of production," there has been a steady, fundamental problem with how a person is to live in a meaningful fashion. Much work is busy work, to keep people occupied. Essentially, one person digs a hole, and another comes, and fills it in. Fifty years on, the endless "war on terror" is a job creator; witness only the slender slice of thousands upon thousands of airport screeners.
The primary focus of the book though is on youth, generally men, and their acceptance or rejection of their adult roles in society - to use the words from Charles Reich's "The Greening of America," another classic from this period, " the machine tooling of the young to fit the needs of various baroque bureaucracies...". He devotes two chapters, one each, to groups who reject their roles: one he calls "the early resigned," the other "the early fatalist." The former are roughly what was once called "The Beat Generation," primarily the intelligent who consciously rejected society's assigned roles, and tried to maintain a viable economic life at the fringes of society.Read more ›
High school was and is a waste of time and energy. How much better to just skip it entirely. High school students grew up deformed and degenerated, skipping classes, taunting teachers and each other, not doing homework and still making the honor roll.
Just having an adult say these things, recognizing just how absurd high school continues to be is so freeing, and so affirming. And about time, too.
However, nothing notable has been done to improve it since the 1950s, and no matter how that boring school day is arranged, it still feels like prison.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Oddly enough, I have been telling people for years how much I loved the ideas I encountered in this book at college. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Donna Miller
The words are still important to ingest and ruminate, if not meditate, upon. All educators with any soul left must read this book. Read morePublished on December 28, 2007 by John-David Hughes