‚Äč Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Summer Reading 2018: Kids These Days: Human Capital and the Making of Millennials

All the book choices for Summer Reading 2018. Have questions? Ask Sarah, Katie or Hilda

About the book

Kids These Days: Human Capital and the Making of Millennials

by Malcolm Harris

Millennials have been stereotyped as lazy, entitled, narcissistic, and developmentally delayed. In fact, they are the hardest working and most educated generation in American history, a generation that poured unprecedented amounts of time and money into preparing themselves for the 21st century market. Yet here they are: poorer, more medicated, more precariously employed, and with less of a social safety net than their parents or even their grandparents. To find out why, Malcolm Harris, himself a Millennial, decided to conduct a meticulous, data driven analysis of the cultural, technological, and (especially) economic forces over the past 40 years that have shaped Millennial lives. What he discovered, and the sense he made of it, will change how you see yourself, your country, and our future - whether you're a Millennial or not. Examining broad trends like the professionalization of childhood, runaway student debt, the rise of the intern, mass incarceration, social media, and more, Kids These Days charts the rise of an American ethos so normalized that we forget to notice it: the treatment of children as investments, and he dares us to confront the consequences when those children grow up. Gripping, mercilessly argued, and deeply informed, Kids These Days is essential reading, not only for Millennials but for anyone ready to take a hard look at how we got here and where we're headed if we don't change course fast.--Little, Brown and Company

"Malcolm Harris restores a good deal of precision to the business of defining the millennial and generational discourse in general…[he] argues that you cannot understand millennials…without examining the political, economic and social institutions that nurtured them...Through this lens we get a sweeping sketch of the bleak, anxiety-ridden lives of young Americans."—Financial Times

"This fiercely smart book is not just another 'millennials killed chain restaurants' kind of thing. Instead, Harris dives deep into the ways that the millennial generation has been shaped by the capitalist economic forces at work now in America. . . It's a must read for anyone who cares about the future of our society."—Nylon

Interview with the author

About the reader

  Scott Nelson, Math

Scott previously recommended:

  • A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller, Jr.
  • We by Yevgeny Zamyatin 
  • Everything and More: A Compact History of Infinity by David Foster Wallace