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Education Reporter

Book Review
Don't Let the Kids Drink the Kool-Aid, by Marybeth Hicks, Regnery Publishing 2011, 224 pages, $24.95.

The culture wars, says Marybeth Hicks, are over. In her estimation, we lost. An entire generation of young socialists has come of age, and few parents have even noticed.

Hicks aims to remedy this ignorance with a book that tells parents just what they're missing as their kids grow up amidst the never-ending onslaught of liberal indoctrination that takes place in the public schools and in the media. Don't Let the Kids Drink the Kool-Aid: Confronting the Left's Assault on our Families, Faith, and Freedom takes a close look at the Left's influence on school curricula, teacher training, science teaching, and even youth sports. She also examines America's increasing secularization, and the myriad ways in which the media has been used as a tool of indoctrination. Young Americans, she argues, have been fed a steady diet of socialism almost since birth, and it is this diet that we must counteract if the United States is to remain great.

Hicks bolsters her arguments with real-life examples from families and school districts across the country. There's the West Virginia family who lost custody of their daughter when the courts determined that the girl's babysitters were her "psychological parents." Or the move to "dismantle institutional heterosexism" in the public schools, and the fact that unrepentant domestic terrorist Bill Ayres helps decide what your child should learn in school. Hicks' research is thorough and detailed, making this a valuable resource for anyone who wants to learn who and what are at work behind the transformational changes in our culture.

A 2010 Pew Research Center study found that Millennials — those born after about 1980 who came of age in the early 2000s — are more liberal than any previous generation on record. If Hicks' research is any indication, the Millennials' younger siblings will be even more inclined to the socialist viewpoints and habits that are eroding "Our Families, Faith, and Freedom."

What is to be done about all this? Hicks believes socialism is best combated with an infusion of civic virtue:

The civic virtue of our Founders, themselves imperfect beings, still serves as the example and ideal for the development of moral citizenship in America today. Imbuing our children with virtues for personal conduct, public conduct, and civic leadership will restore America to the next generation. This is the key to revitalizing our republic, and to reigniting the love of freedom in the hearts of our youngest citizens.
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