A Minor Revolution
How Prioritizing Kids Benefits Us All
A revelatory investigation into how America is failing its children, and an urgent manifesto on why helping them is the best way to improve all of our lives--from the New York Times bestselling author of Unfair: The New Science of Criminal Injustice
"Revolutionary and accessible . . . a powerful new way to look at American society through the lens of our children."--Heather McGhee, New York Times bestselling author of The Sum of Us
At the dawn of the twentieth century, a bright new age for children appeared on the horizon, with progress on ending child labor, providing public education, combating indigence, promoting wellness, and creating a juvenile justice system. But a hundred years on, the promised light has not arrived. Today, more than eleven million American children live in poverty and more than four million lack health insurance. Each year, we prosecute thousands of kids as adults, while our schools crumble. We deny young people any political power, while we fail to act on the issues that matter most to them: racism, inequality, and climate change.
Through unforgettable stories, law professor Adam Benforado draws a vivid portrait of our neglect. We are there when Ariel is placed in an orphanage after her parents are locked away for transporting marijuana, when Harold first gazes in disbelief upon the immaculate lawn of an elite private school after a childhood of asphalt play yards, when Wylie is hit with a paddle by his public-school principal as punishment for taking a moment of silence to protest gun violence. When Tyler runs for governor at age seventeen, we are also there to witness the extraordinary capacities of young people.
Our disregard for children's rights is not simply a moral problem; it's also an economic and social one. The root cause of nearly every major challenge we face--from crime to poor health to unemployment--can be found in our mistreatment of kids. But in that sobering truth is also the key to changing our fate as a nation.
Drawing on the latest research on the value of early intervention, investment, and empowerment, A Minor Revolution makes the urgent case for putting children first--in our budgets and policies, in how we develop products and enact laws, and in our families and communities. Childhood is the window of opportunity for all of us.
About this Author
Adam Benforado is a professor of law at Drexel University. A graduate of Yale College and Harvard Law School, he served as a federal appellate law clerk and an attorney at Jenner & Block. He is the author of the award-winning New York Times bestseller Unfair and numerous scholarly articles and popular essays. Adam Benforado lives in Philadelphia with his wife and their two children.
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