Anne R. Pierce is a big-picture thinker with broad interests in history, politics, psychology, and philosophy. She is especially fascinated with periods of upheaval and transition in American life. She explores the ways in which Americans have created change and adapted to change, and how they have defined and responded to modernity. She is acutely aware of what we have lost as well as what we have gained in any particular transition period.
In her latest book, Ships Without A Shore: Americaâs Undernurtured Children, Pierce takes a hard look at the emerging data on the effects of day care and the hyper-structuring of childrenâs lives with endless activities. She analyzes our shifting moral-philosophical priorities and exposes the fractured condition of our families. Pierce submits that todayâs childrearing trends may just spell the death of childhoodâthe crucial stage in human development.
Ships without A Shore:
Americaâs Undernurtured Children
âThoughtful parents will find Anne Pierceâs Ships Without A Shore a provocative, even disturbing book. Pierce challenges the ethos of self-fulfillment, personal achievement, and moral relativism propagated by conventional wisdom and popular culture, and draws a bleak picture of its effects on child rearing. She draws on her own experience as a parent as well as on neurological, psychological, and other social scientific research, taking a long historical perspective and appealing to the insights of an earlier philosophical and religious tradition. Pierce talks unfashionably and compellingly about childrenâs natural needs for stable parental love and care and for innocence protected from corruption.â âNathan Tarcov, Committee on Social Thought and Department of Political Science, University of Chicago
âShips Without A Shore provides a vivid and stinging critique of the state of affairs of our youngâfrom babies to adolescents. Exhibiting exceptional scholarly review, Anne R. Pierce provides a compelling discussion of the key issues that contribute to child development and health in our rapidly changing world, from parenting to peer and media influences. She raises concerns about the way in which modern forces are filling our childrenâs lives with information and busy activities that have empty materialistic goals and do not engender introspection or enjoyment of simple pleasures. She argues convincingly that without giving children appropriate time to reflect on the wonders of being alive during the right developmental stages, we may be raising an antisocial and non-creative generation of children who will grow to become adults unable to reach their imaginative, altruistic and emotionally balanced potential. This is an extremely important book on the challenges of child development at our current technological crossroads at which media is able to deliver incredible âprogrammingâ to our youth to potentially disastrous effect.â âJames E. Swain MD, PhD, FRCPC, Child Study Center at Yale University
âGutsy and provocative, Anne Pierce presents an articulate, no-holds-barred indictment of current child-rearing practices. Read this book, and you will have plenty to talkâand to thinkâabout!â âJane M. Healy, PhD, Educational psychologist and author of âEndangered Minds; Why Our Children Don’t Think and What We Can Do About Itâ