Book The Twenty-Seventh

The Idle Parent by Tom Hodgkinson

A book on parenting, where the basic idea is that drinking quite heavily and leaving your kids to get on with whatever they’re doing is a good idea, because it builds character and makes them better people.

Basically, Hodgkinson summarises John Locke’s ‘Some thoughts concerning education’ and Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s ‘Emile’, interjecting his own editorials to reinforce that he agrees with them ninety percent of the time. While the ideas (as summarised above, but add in ‘plastic toys are bad’) are by-and-large good, it isn’t the most satisfying of reads, and does go on a bit. Also, while it is refreshing that Hodgkinson admits that he is not perfect and fails to live up to his own ideals on many occasions, it also undermines his arguments somewhat.

Overall a good idea, but one that could have been detailed entirely adequately in, say, an article rather than a full-length book.


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