Robert D. Putnam vividly captures a dynamic change in American society--the widening class-based opportunity gap among young people. The diminishing life chances of lower-class families and the expanding resources of the upper-class are contrasted in sharp relief in Our Kids, which also includes compelling suggestions of what we as a nation should do about this trend. Putnam’s new book is a must-read for all Americans concerned about the future of our children.
William Julius Wilson, Lewis P. and Linda L. Geyser University Professor, Harvard University

“Robert Putnam weaves together scholarship and storytelling to paint a truly troubling picture of our country and its future. Our Kids makes it absolutely clear that we need to put aside our political bickering and fix how this country provides opportunity for its millions of poor children. This book should be required reading for every policymaker in America, if not every American.”
Geoffrey Canada, President, the Harlem Children’s Zone

“In yet another path-breaking book about America’s changing social landscape, Robert Putnam investigates how growing income gaps have shaped our children so differently. His conclusion is chilling: social mobility ‘seems poised to plunge in the years ahead, shattering the American dream.’ Must reading from the White House to your house.”
David Gergen

“With clarity and compassion, Robert Putnam tells the story of the great social issue of our time: the growing gap between the lives of rich and poor children, and the diminishing prospects of children born into disadvantage. A profoundly important book and a powerful reminder that we can and must do better.”
Paul Tough, author of How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character

“Charles Dickens used his literary genius to compel his contemporaries to face up to the poverty and violence which afflicted the poor in Victorian England, and Robert Putnam does the same in his newest book, which analyzes ‘The American Dream in Crisis’ not in social science lingo, but through the direct experience of a group of young Americans also struggling with poverty and violence. Our Kids shows that we are living in a two-tier social and economic world where the affluent succeed through education and economic opportunity, and the poor struggle unavailingly to rise out of their poverty. The compelling results of Putnam’s research are inescapable. Read this book and discover a new America.”
Jill Ker Conway

“Highly readable…An insightful book that paints a disturbing  picture of the collapse of the working class and the growth of an upper class that seems to be largely unaware of the other’s precarious existence.”
Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

“With clarity and compassion, Robert Putnam tells the story of the great social issue of our time: the growing gap between the lives of rich and poor children, and the diminishing prospects of children born into disadvantage. A profoundly important book and a powerful reminder that we can and must do better.”
— Paul Tough, author of How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character

“Our Kids is a superb achievement.  Through vivid portraits of children and lucid syntheses of research findings, Putnam offers an incisive diagnosis of why true equality of opportunity has largely disappeared in the U.S. and its economics and democratic costs for all Americans, including the well-off.  Most importantly, he offers a comprehensive set of policy proposals, from early childhood daycare and more parental coaching to more inclusive extracurricular programs at school and consistent mentoring programs, that are most likely to reverse the opportunity gap.  Our Kids will be the best roadmap for America’s next important social reform.”
— Ezekiel J. Emanuel, M.D., Ph.D., Vice Provost and Chair of the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania

“Our great theorist of social transformation Bob Putnam finds that his own hometown and country are torn apart by class divisions that make the American dream unavailable, democracy dysfunctional, and America’s prospects for all darker.  With compassion and distress, Putnam urges us to confront and heal our new fractured reality.”
— Tony Marx, President and CEO, The New York Public Library