Ships without a Shore: America's Undernurtured Children

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Transaction Publishers, Dec 31, 2011 - Social Science - 276 pages
Childhood in America has changed, and not for the better. From day care for babies, to the exhausting array of activities for children, to the storm of lurid and violent shows now deemed appropriate for the young, to the expectation that teenagers build resumes, childhood has been thoroughly redefined. Anne R. Pierce argues that this radical re-definition has been embraced with remarkably little discussion about what children, by nature, need. Pierce submits that we have latched onto opinions about childrearing that are potentially harmful to children. If traditions are choices to be embraced or abandoned at our discretion, and adult self-fulfillment is a primary determinant in those choices, the fundamentals of the well-wrought childhood are easily forgotten. Steeped in intellectual permissiveness, we have convinced ourselves that parental substitutes are as good as parents themselves at caring for children, that the concepts of nurture and of the maternal are archaic and irrelevant, that more lessons and sports are better than less and that the earlier one embarks upon them the better, and that innocence and knowledge are less important than worldly attitudes and competitive skills. Understanding and challenging the theories and agendas behind childrearing trends is a pressing need, and the subject of this book. Pierce takes an honest look at the evidence on the effects of daycare and of hyper-structuring children. She gives voice to the many intelligent and estimable educators, child-development experts, researchers, and social commentators who are ignored because their conclusions are hard to bear. Equally important, Pierce says, is attention to that inner tug of love and conscience, which many of us have been programmed to ignore.Modern American children are expected to adjust and to understand as adults would the complexities and vicissitudes of public as opposed to private life. For them, childhood is fast becoming a distant memory. Could it be that America's thrust forward leaves children without a solid foundation upon which to grow? This is the sobering question asked, and answered, in this challenging book.

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Very 2010

User Review  - avidreader2009 -

We seem to be struggling for an identity after trying many approaches for several decades. Its nice to get your hands on a book which helps one get grounded. A great deal of academic research went ... Read full review

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Critical reading for academicians, sociologists, school and children program developers. Anne summarizes critical research pertaining to the long term effects within society of our undernutured children. For the health of our children in achieving their full potential, dreams and contributions to subsequent generations, this book is a MUST read. Every day that passes without our awareness of the effects of our current patterns in society regarding our children is a day too late. Ships without ashore provides this insight! 


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About the author (2011)

Anne R. Pierce is an independent scholar with a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. She has published articles on social/political issues and foreign policy and is particulary interested in transition periods in American life. She is the author of Woodrow Wilson and Harry Truman: Mission and Power in American Foreign Policy, available from Transaction.

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