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Welcome to the Jungle: The Why Behind "Generation X" Paperback – May 15, 1995


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 289 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; St Martin's Griffin ed edition (May 15, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312132107
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312132101
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 0.8 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,434,678 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

An in-depth examination of the social, cultural and economic circumstances that shaped the generation commonly referred to as Generation X, Welcome to the Jungle is no baby-boomer booster. Holtz, a twentysomething law student, builds an impressive case indicting boomers for crimes against the Xers (whom he calls the Free Generation). Armed with a stack of references and a mountain of resentment, Holtz asserts that, when boomers postponed both marriage and children in the '70s, American culture adapted to this swinging, child-free lifestyle. But while boomers benefited from these changes, Holtz claims, the children of the '70s paid the price. From "latchkey kids" totoday's flat job market to a depleted Social Security fund in 2020, Welcome to the Jungle describes, in grim detail, how the Free Generation always seems to be cleaning up after the boomer pride parade. Though the majority of Holtz's arguments are convincingly presented and dutifully referenced, Holtz's periodic, overzealous boomer-bashing and poorly drawn conclusions detract from an otherwise powerful thesis. The unwavering emphasis on boomers' sins also implies that the Free are indeed both powerless and inferior, just as the boomers have suspected all along. Nevertheless, Welcome to the Jungle's articulate emphasis on public policy commendably elevates the level of twentysomething debate beyond The Brady Bunch and Disco Duck.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Holtz dismisses the appellations previously given to the generation born in the 1960s and 1970s (such as Generation X or the Doofus Generation) in favor of the term Free Generation. He nicknames them the "Frees" for the purpose of this book, which is simultaneously defensive and descriptive. Through newspaper clippings, real life experiences, statistics, and anecdotes of all types, Holtz points out the struggles these young people face in maturing, schooling, finding work, housing, forging families, and creating an impact in the face of the vociferous body that preceded them known, appropriately, as the baby boomers. Heady sociopolitical fare written by one of the "Frees." Denise Perry Donavin

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 22, 1997
Format: Paperback
The causes and influences of the GenX crowd are lucidly laid out in this most excellent book. I found myself constantly thinking, "Yes, I remember that," and "Of course, doesn't everybody feel that way?" The author does make our efforts seem a bit doomed--sometimes merely by the sheer numerical force of the generations that preceed us. He does however succeed in explaining who and what this "us" is and why it exists.

The only really annoying bit is that the author insists on christening this generation yet again--this time as "The Free," an especially corny title that does not roll off the tongue as nicely as "GenX," which he claims GenXers all hate. Is it GenX of me to like the name out of spite??
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 15, 1998
Format: Paperback
While Holtz's book presents itself as an eye-catching, attractive possibility to understanding the increasingly complex world of Generation X, its arguments are redudant and shallow, to the point one begins to wonder what personal agenda fuels the book's arguments. It offers some statistics, but only enough to support its current argument, and fails to consider the collective picture. There are some interesting observations that made me say "Yeah, I could buy that with more to go on..." but lack significant follow up or substantiation with the social, cultural, economic, or political developments of the past and present. I read this when it was published in 1995 at the age of 18 and have to admit I was disappointed. The study of the first generation of postmodern America is a burgeoning, but arduous area of study, one Holtz does not treat fairly.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful By "legendary_books" on June 27, 2002
Format: Paperback
What a grim depressing litany of sorrows this book ensconces. Every possible social problem is extrapolated outwards to encompass an entire generation with its' taint. Could one group of people (referred here tongue and cheek as "The Free," echoing the supposed social freedom from guilt, ect. of this group) possibly be so screwed up? I doubt it. Still if you feel Gen X needs someone to whine in a learned tone about it's woes, this is the book!
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