Beloit College Magazine

Beloit College Magazine

Summer 2011 (August 4, 2011)

The Mindset List of American History


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July 22, 2011

The Mindset List of American HistoryBy Tom McBride and Ron Nief

Jorn Wiley and Sons, Inc.

Hoboken, N.J., 2011

"The past is a foreign country;" begins the epigraph of The Mindset Lists of American History, "they do things differently there." The mindset list for the class of 1918 illustrates this unfamiliar landscape, a time when riding an elevator was a thrill second only to a roller coaster, and cars rushed along at 40 miles per hour, but still required hand cranks to start. For the class of 1957, "duck and cover" drills encouraged students to hide under desks or in fallout shelters, and the radio was being slowly edged out of the American home by television.

Written by Beloit College Keefer and Keefer Professor of the Humanities Tom McBride and Director Emeritus of Public Affair Ron Nief, The Mindset List of American History examines the dramatic shifts in social, technological, and historical norms over the last 150 years by considering the changing worldviews of individual generations, from those born in 1880 to the present.

The book has its roots in the Beloit College Mindset List, released by McBride and Nief annually since 1998 as a catalog of the cultural touchstones of each incoming college class.

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