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Generation at the Crossroads


Generation book cover

Generation at the Crossroads: Apathy and Action on the American Campus, examines the values of the students who've come of age in the 1980s and 1990s, those often dismissed as "Generation X." During seven years of intensive research, Loeb visited over a hundred colleges, exploring the struggle of the current student generation to find its place in a confusing world. The book examines students' concepts of responsibility, what matters in their lives, how they view themselves in relation to a larger human community and as stewards of the earth. It looks at where they can find necessary role models, and the moral and political tools to act for a greater common good.

The book was published by Rutgers University Press, and is available through Amazon, Powells, or on order from your local store ($20 paperback).


Praise for Generation at the Crossroads

"Passionate analysis...thorough, fair and smart.... Loeb deserves immediate credit for not patronizing."--Baltimore Sun


"Debunks the slacker image."--USA Weekend


"Activists of any age will be heartened by Loeb's hopeful conclusions."--Utne Reader


"Recounts engaging, honest conversations with apathetic 'adapters' as well as with activists who were able to make a difference...speaks poignantly about the much-ignored plight of poor students who struggle with steep tuition fees and debt."--The Economist


"[A] talent for presenting the people behind the opinions. Like Studs Terkel, Loeb is empathetic. He allows his subjects to explain themselves and gives us a sense of their lives."--Digby Diehl, Playboy


"Perceptive insights."--Christian Science Monitor


"Debunks the myth that young people are greedy and selfish."--Cleveland Plain Dealer


"Should be required reading for all American college students."--National Student News Service


“Probing analysis....perceptive and enlightening...A wide-ranging, insightful study of the complexities obscured by reductionist notions like “slackers” and “the MTV Generation.” —Booklist

“Engaging, yet scholarly....Loeb [creates] role models for activism with his stories.” —Mary Pipher, Lincoln Journal-Star


“Loeb’s extensive personal interviews and traveling to campuses gives his work authenticity.  The style of his writing makes his discoveries accessible.”--Henry Louis Gates, Jr.


“Makes a profoundly important point...The loss of a concern with the common good—the removal of the individual from public life into a kind of cul-de-sac of private satisfaction—is a tragedy that teachers have an obligation to address.”  —Teacher Magazine


“Much more complex than the media’s ‘slacker’ generalizations.”—San Francisco Examiner


“[A] must read...not just another cynical spouting from some 20-something mouthpiece...Read it and determine your direction.”—Sassy


“A very insightful book that will challenge readers on the issues.”—The Black Collegian


“Debunks the myth that young people are greedy and selfish”—Cleveland Plain Dealer  


“Paul Loeb has traveled around the country and talked to hundreds of students on college campuses.  He has felt their pulse and gotten it exactly right—this is what students are thinking and feeling today.—Reginald Wilson, Senior Scholar, American Council on Education


“Replacing a facile stereotype of a self-centered generation with a more complex portrait of a diverse group of individuals facing a host of both personal and systemic challenges, this study is revisionist social history at its best.”—starred review, Publisher’s Weekly


“A model of integrating literature, research, and political commentary to add meaning to understanding students and their world...A must read.”—Journal of College Student Development


“Loeb has crafted a work of scholarly sociology that’s also consistently readable....[He] gets it absolutely right...a rare and powerful understanding”—San Francisco Bay Guardian


“A thorough, nuanced description of the political attitudes of this generation.”—The Progressive

“An important book, mainly because it is the first time in years anybody has made a major attempt to find out what students are thinking.”—Detroit Metro Times


“One of the landmarks in tracing a new generation’s engagement.”—Riverfront Times (St Louis)


 “Says the newest crop of college students is highly motivated to make social change, though they continue to shun political advocacy.”—San Diego Union-Tribune


“Challenges the prevailing notion that today’s campuses are free of social activism.”—Crisis Magazine, the NAACP


“Goes to the heart of student organizing and student lives.  It unabashedly explores motivations and conditions for students becoming active and getting involved.  Anyone interested in the lives of today’s students should read Generation at the Crossroads.”—-Tchiyuka Cornelius, President, United States Student Association


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