18 Jul 2009

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Andrea Batista Schlesinger: The Death of Why?

Andrea Batista Schlesinger’s commentary has a simple thesis. An inquisitive attitude is essential to dutiful citizenship in a democracy, and the attitude is waning among American youths. Teenagers and 20-year-olds in the United States have little curiosity about the workings of government, they don’t follow the actions of their representatives, they don’t read the newspaper or watch the network news, and, worst of all, they don’t care—or at least they are taught not to. The institutions that should inspire civic inquiry—schools, media, governments—fail their responsibility, sometimes deliberately so, and the rising generation follows their lead. We’ve lost the crucial interrogative “Why?”