Mark Bauerlein
The Dumbest Generation.
Tarcher, 272 pages, $24.95

Paeans to the new batch of Millennial workers appear, it seems, in every other edition of the Sunday paper, detailing the sharp aptitudes, habits, likes, and dislikes of “Generation Y.” But these articles mean little to Mark Bauerlein. Author of The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future (Or, Don’t Trust Anyone Under 30) and a professor of English at Emory University, Bauerlein believes that behind the supposed worldliness and tech-savvy of today’s twenty-somethings and teens is mostly air. Millennials, he thinks, possess little substantive knowledge and, therefore, even less wisdom.

That young people are uninformed about a great many things is old hat. The ancient Greeks engaged in generational spats between devotees of Sophocles...


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