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Campus Life: Undergraduate Cultures from the End of the Eighteenth Century to the Present Paperback

ISBN-13: 978-0226353739 ISBN-10: 0226353737

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Campus Life: Undergraduate Cultures from the End of the Eighteenth Century to the Present + A History of American Higher Education, 2nd Edition + The American College and University: A History
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 348 pages
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press (April 15, 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226353737
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226353739
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #529,619 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

When high school rebels embark upon college, they can pursue well-defined avenues of political or artistic expression, thanks to an alternative subculture available to American college freshmen since 1910, the author notes. The same is true for students who are more in the mainstreamthey can fall in step with a campus subculture that downplays academic work while glorifying social grace and athletic prowess. In addition to collegiate types and rebels, Horowitz, professor of history at the Univ. of Southern California, identifies a third subculture, that of the "outsiders." For these intensely serious students, college is primarily a means to rise in the world. This comprehensive social history redefines the terrain of campus life, past and present. By grounding her schema in vivid history and anecdote, the author is able to tackle head-on a fraternity-bred tradition, still wide-spread, which devalues academic and intellectual achievement. A path-breaking study.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal

"To put it directly," writes Horowitz, "college men and the faculty remain at war. Students who assumed the culture of college life avoided any contact with the enemy beyond that required. Knowing they would lose in open conflict, such students turned to deception, using any means to circumvent rules. . . . " The situation she describes is at Yale in the early 1800s, not Columbia in the 1960s. Horowitz ( Alma Mater , LJ 8/84) has drawn on a wealth of material to offer a balanced yet candid appraisal of how each generation of American students has passed on its "culture," and how that culture has helped shape the modern college. She also provides an excellent context for assessing the recommendations of various national commissions aimed at changing the American college of the 1980s and beyond. Highly recommended. Richard H. Quay, Miami Univ . Libs., Oxford, Ohio
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

More About the Author

I enjoy working in a number of fields that connect my interest in American history with women's studies, landscape studies, architecture, education, biography, sexual representation, law, and medicine. I began at Wellesley where I got my B.A. in 1963 and continued at Harvard, where I earned an American Studies Ph.D. in 1969. I've taught at MIT, Union College, Scripps College, the University of Southern California, and, most importantly, Smith College. I love to write and learn about new subjects. I am currently working on neurasthenia and hysteria in the era before Freud.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By J. Stoner VINE VOICE on July 29, 2006
Format: Paperback
This history text focuses more on the classifications in the student population as defined by Horowitz and the changes in those individual populations over the years. Horowitz often refers to "The College Men," "The Outsiders," and "The Rebels." Each of these groups has played a significant role in the development of higher education and Horowitz does a fantastic job of tracking minority involvement and ownership into these groups over the years. There are many interesting accounts of the trouble that students caused over the years (especially the college men in the early years of Harvard and Yale). The Outsiders were the students that were not allowed into the selective groups of greek-letter societies and the rebels and Horowitz follows the integration of some student cultures as they merge, shift, and change.

This book also has many great pictures from the early years of higher education. This book is highly recommended for a historical look at the student populations and how they have changed over the years.

I recommend reading the following texts in conjunction with this one if you are truly interested in getting a more comprehensive account of the history of higher education:

"American College and University: A History" by Frederick Rudolph
"A History of American Higher Education" by John Thelin
"American Higher Education" by Christopher Lucas

Another good book about the history of admissions and exclusion at Harvard, Yale, and Princeton is "TheChosen" by Jerome Karable.

Finally, if you are interested in the history of co-operative living I highly recommend the following historical account about the University of Kansas: "Making Do and Getting Through" by Fred McElhenie (it is locally published for the University of Kansas by Oread Books).
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 23, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book does a wonderful job of describing student life in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. It should be required reading for all my fellow professors who pine for the fabled "good old days" when students were in awe of their professors, put a priority on their studies, and were virtuous. This book describes the reality, not the myth. It is a wonderful discussion of student life, including the rebels and outsiders. Several times I laughed outloud at the similarities between today's college students and those of centuries past.
The pictures in the book are wonderful. One in particular of the aftermath of a snowball fight at Princeton in the 19th century opened up some interested dialog among my colleagues regarding the nature of violence on college campuses. I highly recommend this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Richard B. Schwartz TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 25, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Professor Horowitz charts the behavior of American college students from the 18th century to the 1980's. She identifies three behavioral groups--the collegians (think: goldfish-swallowing, beer-swilling frat boys, at war with the faculty over the course of college life--will it be drab drills or nonstop fun?); the outsiders (non-Greek grinds with strong vocational interests; think G.I. Bill guys, geeks, nerds, Asian engineers); the rebels (hyper-serious intellectual and/or political types above grades and vocationalism who relate to the culture of the outside world and take their inspiration from high modernism; think Jack Kerouac and the beats, Mario Savio and Mark Rudd). These are succeeded by the `new outsiders', the post 60's, sadly serious, apolitical materialists, with noses to the grindstone and dreams of homes like their parents' with Beemers in the garage.

The book is built upon individual memoirs and autobiographies and includes a wealth of photographs from university archives. Its most salient point (though it illustrates it without stressing it) is that there was no golden age in which students were all serious and faculty were all happy. The gaps, however, are enormous. There is very little space here for students who actually enjoy studying, students who have come to college to prepare for life as well as (or secondarily) for a job. There is little or no attention given to the vast numbers of students in parochial institutions which banned fraternities and sororities. The principal foci (as so often in these kinds of books) are northeastern private colleges and universities, with an occasional nod to Northwestern and Stanford.
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