The production of just one drug--Ritalin--increased more than 700 percent between 1990 and 2000, she reports. Ritalin, we should note, is a drug that is so chemically similar to cocaine that as one journalist explained, "it takes a chemist to tell the difference." In a section that will surprise many readers--this reader included--Eberstadt reports that America's armed services will not allow the appointment, enlistment, or induction of applicants who have taken psychotrophic drugs during their teenage years. In other words, we are drugging an entire generation of young people who will be disqualified for service in the armed forces. That ought to tell us something.

In successive chapters, Eberstadt moves through other problems and pathologies that affect America's children, ranging from the screaming angst of teenage music to the epidemic of teenage sexual promiscuity. In the end, she comes to a simple conclusion: "It would be better for both children and adults if more American parents were with their children more of the time." That short sentence, clear and irrefutable, should launch a social revolution.

Mary Eberstadt has performed a great public service in writing Home-Alone America, and this book should be read by every concerned parent, pastor, and policy maker.

While she notes that America's adults are doing better than ever before in so many ways, Mary Eberstadt honestly reports that "life is not better for many American children, no matter how many extra Game Boys they have, no matter how much more pocket money they may have for the vending machines, and no matter how nice it is that Dad's new wife gave them their own weekend bedroom in his new place. In fact, for a significant number of today's kids, life is worse in important ways than it was for their parents. And somewhere inside, many of us adults know it." Now--what are we going to do with that knowledge?


R. Albert Mohler, Jr. is president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. For more articles and resources by Dr. Mohler, and for information on The Albert Mohler Program, a daily national radio program broadcast on the Salem Radio Network, go to For information on The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, go to Send feedback to