On Purpose Before Twenty, by Adam Cox (Four Corners Press).
A fascinating and deeply moving account of the author’s unique interviews with boys and young men as part of a two-year study on the subject. His focus is on “life purposes”—or, as he puts it, work. It’s a powerful examination (that applies as well to girls, he suspects) on the impact of disrespecting work, viewing it as “necessary” but unworthy of high ideals. It goes well alongside Mike Rose’s Minds at Work. Cox raises a core problem—while play is (he agrees) the essential work of childhood, that does not mean that the work of adults is the opposite of play—dull drudgery which requires justification.
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