Stephen Karlson (shkarlson) wrote in 50bookchallenge,
Stephen Karlson
shkarlson
50bookchallenge

CHASING TWO HARES, CATCHING NONE.

Book Review No. 23 is Kay Hymowitz's Manning Up: How the Rise of Women Has Turned Men into Boys, which promised to be interesting, and developed from a prequel that sparked a lot of commentary,  turns out so unimpressive as to not provoke any pencilled scribblings on pages or flyleaves (yes, these reviews often rely on marginal notes). Take Surf City College, dating anarchy, a dash of second-wave feminism, and the evolution of new coming-of-age challenges in a labor market wherein the rewards to human capital appear to be high (although it would take the book too far afield to ask whether all those master's degrees in knowledge-economy industries and in government are truly evidence of increased demand for education or diminished expectations in high school) in an environment where people are old enough to breed at ten but incapable of supporting themselves, let alone a family, until 26 (when the parents' insurance no longer covers) or 30 (because the MBA programs want some entry-level experience first) and you have a lot of aimless, sexually frustrated men and overscheduled, perplexed women.  Or something.   But when an illustration of an upscale marriage that goes right (something rare in the world Ms Hymowitz appears to be studying) includes an observation that the union wasn't upscale enough to be covered by the New York Times ... whether such a book has anything to do with that part of the knowledge economy involved in retail and logistics (the store managers and truck drivers and train dispatchers and airplane technicians) or government services (first responders and teachers and family court workers) is left to the reader as an exercise.   There's a lot gone wrong in the country, and a lot that's changed, but a snapshot of a small slice of the population of young adults does not a definitive study make.

(Cross-posted to Cold Spring Shops.)
Tags: current events, unimpressed
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