A New Deal for Youth: The Story of the National Youth Administration

A New Deal for Youth: The Story of the National Youth Administration

A New Deal for Youth: The Story of the National Youth Administration

A New Deal for Youth: The Story of the National Youth Administration

Excerpt

If we are to consider as normal the years of the present century prior to the Great War, the entire generation which we today call "Youth" was born into an abnormal world. Greeted by a world war or the economic aftermath, they have known only a condition of social and economic instability. Unprecedented post-war agricultural prosperity was quickly followed by collapse and dire distress. A few years of a riotous industrial boom, with all the attendant luxuries and banalities, were followed in 1929 by an economic crisis, from which we are now only hesitatingly commencing to emerge.

While we in the United States have been going through our own gyrations, our youth have seen the rest of the world torn by wars and revolutions. They have seen age-old governments crack up and be replaced by a variety of dictatorships. American youth of today never knew the norms by which we judge the passing show. It is difficult for adults to understand the point of view of young people. We draw comparisons between present-day chaos and what we called normal some years back. Youth know only chaos. With all the progress that has been made in our educational technique, much of it is still based on a world which no longer exists and which has never existed for the younger generation.

Youth, in an effort to throw off the non-essentials and inadequacies of a system that prepares them for a life they have no opportunity to live, frequently discard the fundamentals . . .

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