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Sen. Ben Sasse’s ‘The Vanishing American Adult’ is oddly timed but quite good

I’m of two minds about U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse’s new book, “The Vanishing American Adult: Our Coming-Of-Age Crisis — And How to Rebuild a Culture of Self-Reliance” (St. Martin’s Press).

One part of me sees the rise of young adult YouTube stars whose sole talent appears to be enticing kids (including my own) to watch them play video games and thinks: Seriously. A lecture on vanishing adults, please.

The other part of me watches the 70-year-old president of the United States tweeting maniacally, whining at graduation speeches and dodging multiple investigations while his party’s congressional leaders speculate in secret about who’s in Russia’s pocket and thinks: Seriously? A lecture on vanishing adults? From a Republican senator? Please.

The thing is, Sasse’s book is good. Good enough, in fact, to quiet the part of my mind that doesn’t want a lecture from a senator right now. He acknowledges from the beginning that his book could easily be misread as an exercise in cantankerous nostalgia, and he’s careful not to let it become one.