"This book is a gift to a fading democracy. Tom Cottle's voice turns once again to the sensibilities of America's youth. With brilliance and compassion, he tells the truth: our booming economy has little substance. In a frenzy, pop materialism is distorting our presence of mind with a glut of non-essential things and the most telling victims are young citizens. To them, being detached and shallow is "natural." But Cottle, the astute human developmentalist, determines that while this may be normative, it is hardly natural. The solutions he offers reflect the lessons of John Dewey, but the strategies to overcome our society's dislocation face even more serious hurdles than they did a century ago."
"Thomas J. Cottle has written a chilling indictment of our culture of distraction and its effects on young people and therefore on us all. By examining what we do to adolescents, we are drawn into an understanding of what was done to every one of us-ridiculed for our visions, prodded to conform, and distracted from the inner growth necessary to our individual and collective survival. But Mind Fields is also deeply hopeful, reminding us that self-reflection and a commitment to critical thinking can enable us to become full human beings-striving, purposeful, imaginative, and powerful. This book is of value to anyone who was ever an adolescent, anyone who teaches or cares about adolescents, and any adult still struggling to create a life of purpose and meraning."