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ebook / ISBN-13: 9781405522298

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Young people growing up in Britain today face a narrowing job market, high housing costs and the prospect of a lifetime of hard work with less reward. The ideas of social responsibility that arose after the Second World War are straining under the demands of a globalised world.

Too often public debate divides Britain’s youth into the ‘feral rats’ of the London riots and the ‘posh boys’ of Eton. Business leaders rail at the entitled and unemployable young people they are asked to give jobs to, politicians complain about apathetic teens and commentators devote endless column inches to the issue of a ‘self-obsessed’ generation.

Georgia Gould travelled across the UK to uncover the values, aspirations and challenges of young Brits, from job seekers in Bradford and working-class families in Glasgow’s Easterhouse estate, to student protesters at Sussex University and young entrepreneurs in London such as YouTube sensation Jamal Edwards.

If we show young people that we trust them with the future of our country, we will find that they are ready to rise to the challenge. This timely work points the way towards a new social contract and gives a voice to young Britain.



A rousing argument . . . packed full of anecdotes, research and statistics
New Statesman
Georgia Gould rails persuasively against the persistent attempts to scapegoat Generation Y for the ills of society
Owen Jones, New Statesman
An easy-to-read manifesto that debunks the derogatory tabloid stereotype of useless, narcissistic hoodies, thugs, yobs and chavs . . . an urgent missive from a moment in time . . . Gould offers a vision of Britain that will improve if it embraces the talents of its internet-savvy, multitasking, adaptable young people
Bidisha, Observer
This book merits attention from the old fogeys at the top of the tree. They might find they learn something, once they start listening
Gould's approach is conscientious and nuanced . . . her vision of how and where politics and youth, like self-reliance and empathy, might combine is persuasive
Times Literary Supplement
Wasted is the product of detailed research and interviews with an impressive variety of young people and policy wonks
New Statesman
Anybody who cares about the future of our country, whether an entrepreneur, or involved in civil society or politics, should read this well-written, well-researched book. Indeed, it is a wake-up call for politicians both national and local that should be prescribed reading. Young, wise, passionate, brimming with ideas
No one could read Wasted and maintain a view of Britain's youth as couch potatoes and feral hedonists