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The Mindset Lists of American History: From Typewriters to Text Messages, What Ten Generations of Americans Think Is Normal

3.42  ·  Rating details ·  130 Ratings  ·  32 Reviews
Snapshots of the U.S.'s last nine generations—from the creators of the Mindset List media sensation

Just as high school graduates in 1957 couldn't imagine life without zippers, those of 2009 can't imagine having to enter phone booths and deposit coins in order to call someone from the street corner. Every August, the Mindset List highlights the cultural touchstones that hav

ebook, 272 pages
Published May 25th 2011 by John Wiley & Sons (first published May 23rd 2011)
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I love NPR for book recommendations. So many great books this summer! So this title caught my attention because it was written from the College of Beloit which I went to July of 2010 for a summer retreat on leadership sponsored by the Unitarian Universalist Association-which my church St. John's UU in Clifton is part of.

Anyway, it is basically a every 13 year listing of each generations milestones, iconic interests and general Americana. It starts with the generation before the turn of the cent
Sep 02, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I confess that I am one of many in academia who look forward to the annual Mindset List. This year, I noticed that the authors had decided to expand upon their research and publish a book. I like history. I like pop culture. I like the sociology and weaving of the two together-- plus, I work with college students (mostly first and second year students) so I can find direct parallels at work. You don't have to read this one cover to cover. You can jump to the chapters/cohorts you are interested i ...more
Mar 25, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
My wife picked up the Mindset lists for me as a Christmas (2012) present. She sorta hit the nail on the head on this one. It’s definitely up my alley marrying pop-culture, politics and history. This is an interesting idea. I wouldn’t say the execution is as successful as the idea however. Essentially, the Mindset lists are about 50 items that are normal to a generation, as represented by a high school class. What that class experienced growing up and how those forces acted upon their actions and ...more
A Book That Gives Some Perspective to the Term "Generation Gap" ...

Generations seem to look at one another through a "grass is always greener" lens, where the current always thinks their parent's and children's' generations has it better of for one reason or another (think of the "I had to walk ten miles in snow to get to school every day" stories). I always thought life was simple for my parents in that I assumed they grew up in a time where people could always get by on less and didn't have as
Heather Layne
May 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Neat! America sure does change drastically and quickly! Each chapter advanced by 13 years, and each chapter was like a whole new world!
Every August I eagerly await the release of the Beloit College Mindset List. Working in Student Affairs, it's always nice to get a glimpse into the mindset of the incoming Freshman class. When I heard that the list had turned into a book, I was excited to see the list expanded.

The book takes generations who would have graduated HS in 898,1918,1931,1944,1957,1970,1983,1996,2009,and looks at the events that have shaped their generation both before they were born as as they grew up. We always joke
Aug 22, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When the mindset list started coming out in 1998 it explained the current graduating High School seniors with a list of culture references that they could relate to. Ever since people have checked in each year to see how the 18 year old people of today see the world.

This book uses mindset lists to explain the attitudes and behavior of ten different american generations, starting with children born in 1880 and ending with children born in 2008. With each generation you see how the world has chan
Stephanie Hatch
I really enjoyed this book but when I got to the chapter about my class it didn't really fit what I thought to be true about my class. Granted my experience is not the majority but it made me really wonder about how other generations would feel about their chapter. Also, the last chapter just felt a little too farfetched - you never know but after my chapter not gelling right the last chapter felt utterly false. In short, towards the end of the book you could really tell that it was "adults/olde ...more
Gary Land
This was an interesting and both lighthearted and sobering read. The book basically looks at each high school graduating class, every thirteen years since about 1880. The authors examine the cultural world that each class entered and the changes that took place during their lives. What comes through in this work is that students have little knowledge of the past and pretty much assume that things were always the way they are familiar with. Although the authors maintain a light tone, it is quite ...more
Apr 04, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First one should undestand that when reading this book they are talking about graduating high school classes of the year, not college or people being born in that year. This was really informative book. I found myself saying "I have no clue what they are talking about" so I would have to ask others around me. When it came to my generation I totally understood what everything was. I could not read the class of 2026 because it seemed like a negative chapter of America's fututre. I logged on to the ...more
Sydney Young
Very interesting way to get insight into everyone in your life. If you enjoy those email lists that go around, you'll enjoy this. If you are employed in any venue of public service, you should read this book. I've noticed as a lawyer that generations do respond differently and have different expectations. I try to meet them where they are, and I think that what I gained from this book will be helpful in this goal. This is probably also a must have reference book for any writer or historian. The ...more
It is said that major personal or world events that occur during a person's tenth year shape the way they perceive the world. This book of lists captures each graduating class worldview in time period selected: 1898, 1918, 1931, 1944, 1957, 1970, 1983, 1996, 2009, 2026. That is, from the perspective of 18 year olds, they identify what has "always been true" for their cohort. Used in Writer's Group as a writing exercise as we determined who to format information, identify meaningful issues and ma ...more
Nov 24, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting social history, though the prose plods. When you finish the book, you realize that it has more implications, and you've learned more, than you thought as you were going through it. I found that the authors were often not quite on the mark dealing with older generations, but they delivered spot-on insights for recent "classes" and revealed that kids who will graduate from college in 2013 live in a very different world from mine. A useful reminder that we should all be tolerant of thos ...more
John Volker
Jun 25, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book in several ways. First, gaining some understanding of the mindset and perception of the world that each generation in the US had was interesting and provided some background understanding to certain historical events. Second, and to my mind more importantly, was a developing awareness that not all members of each generation would have had the experiences that led to the mindset. I do think that the mindset list is very much a middle and upperclass perception. Highly recommend ...more
Nov 02, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is written by the Beloit college professors who put out the annual Mindset list. I found it a very enjoyable read. It covers generations 13 years apart beginning with the class of 1898 through 2009. It also jumps ahead to the class of 2026. I found myself skipping over the lists and jumping right to the narrative since everything in the list would appear in the narrative portion. It's interesting to see how some things never change. I especially liked the coverage of the more recent cl ...more
Sep 29, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a fascinating look at the different issues and things that were considered normal for a series of American generations. The most interesting thing for me, reading this in the final months of 2013, is how far off their prediction for the class of 2026 already is -- and they wrote it in 2011. It did help me to better understand my parents and grandparents by seeing the things they grew up in. I love seeing this list every year, and it was a fun little exercise in trivia to go through this ...more
May 05, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2012

Like many people I look at the lists yearly when they come out, looking for something that might help me understand my own 8th grade students. The book was interesting in that it skipped years so you could really see big shifts. I liked the chapter on the predictions for kids born in 2008.
Jan 12, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have always enjoyed the yearly mindset lists and seeing a compilation dating back to the early 1900s and then extrapolating forward to 2026 was a great way to see just how quickly things change!

I also enjoyed the explanations that followed the lists themselves, as some of the items weren't self-explanatory to me.
Jan 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
If you enjoy reading the Mindset lists from Beloit College every year, this book is for you. Also recommended for genealogists and historians. It shows how the world have changed from the time of our great-great grandparents to a guess of what our children and grandchildren will think.
Aug 27, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book! It's a well-written look at how we as contemporary America got from "there to here" and what previous generations were like. It's not overly scholarly and the writing style is conversational and comfortable.
Kathryn Bashaar
This book was good light reading, an entertaining look at what different generations of Americans have thought of as normal life. I certainly identified with the chapter closest to my high-school graduation year, and the chapters closest to my children and my parents.
introduction page 1 of 9. there is a series of mindset lists. must check them out

still testing progress reports...I am thinking of grandma and grandpa, while reading this section
Nov 08, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not as interesting as I had hoped, but fun to flip thru. I especially like the last chapter where the authors are predicting the future.
Oct 07, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Short, entertaining little read. Anybody who likes those lists should pick this up.
Apr 25, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's so fun to go back in time and see what different generations were really thinking and believing. I'm using this book for a decade research project that my juniors are doing. Great information!
Nov 04, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
Not my favorite. Not what I thought it was going to be actually. The list were good, but the chapters following the lists were very dry and boring. Could hardly make it through the book.
Sep 29, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: a-non-fict
Completation of lists from Beloit college to help staff understand incoming freshman better. Interesting if a little confusing.
Jul 17, 2012 added it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: motw
Read by ACRL Member of the Week Lisa R. Horowitz. Learn more about Lisa on the ACRL Insider blog.
Donald William
Not bad. But the Class of 2009 stuff was sometimes wrong. Learned some cool American cultural trivia though!
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Tom McBride is a professor of English, and Keefer and Keefer Professor of Humanities at Beloit, where he was also the long-time director of the colleges first year students program. Ron Nief is the former Public Affairs director of Beloit College who developed the Mindset List in 1998."
More about Tom McBride...

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