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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Nov. 28, 2005 / 26 Mar-Cheshvan, 5765

Things the '60s got right

By David Gelernter


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | A generation has passed since I went to college. Today's college students understand that things have changed in many ways — some good, some not. But one change is glaring and tragic. The change I mean is that nowadays so many students are obsessed with their careers. (This is strictly my own personal observation — as a college teacher of long-standing, and of declining optimism.)


It seems to me that when I was an undergraduate, students were far more obnoxious than they are today. Many of us were positive we were smarter than our teachers and naturally gifted with superior taste. But there was a good side (believe it or not) to our arrogant self-assurance. Many of us waded right into intellectual life until we were in way over our heads. Many of us were obsessed with books, poems, music, arguments, theories, paintings and politics, history and philosophy, truth and beauty. Virtually no one cared about "careers" except for the despised pre-meds. (And didn't they have the last laugh!)


Why the big change between now and then? Many reasons. But there's one particular reason that students seem reluctant (some even scared) to talk or think about. In those long-ago days, more college women used to plan on staying home to rear children. Those women had other goals than careers in mind, by definition. They saw learning as worth having for its own sake; otherwise why bother with a college education, if you weren't planning on a big-deal career? (There were social reasons, of course — such as finding a husband. But social reasons don't explain why so many of those students who planned on being mothers rather than CEOs took hard courses, did well and wound up at the top of their classes.)


In the days when many college-trained women stayed home to rear children, the nation as a whole devoted a significant fraction of all its college-trained worker-hours to childrearing. This necessarily affected society's attitude toward money and careers. A society that applauds a highly educated woman's decision to rear children instead of making money obviously believes that, under some circumstances, childrearing is more important than moneymaking. No one thought women were incapable of earning money if they wanted or needed to: Childrearing versus moneymaking was a genuine choice.


In those days, liberals looked down on corporations and careerism. In fact, society at large did. "The Organization Man," "The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit," "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" were all about the silliness (or, to be less polite, the stupidity) of U.S. corporate culture. Deans pleaded with their students to treasure learning for its own sake.


But all that changed with feminism's decision to champion the powerful and successful working woman. Nowadays, feminists and many liberals are delighted when women make careers in large corporations, which are still the road to riches and power in this country.


No doubt contempt for the corporation was overdone back then, just as corporation worship is today. In any event, college deans tell their students nowadays (especially women, but men can't help overhearing): Go out there and make money! Get power! Build those careers!


Some liberals imagine that conservatives spend their time trying to set the clock back. That's a foolish caricature. We're not going back to 1960 (before careerist feminism took off) any more than we're going back two weeks to the point when the leaves outside my window were blazing bright yellow and scarlet and orange. Now the ones that still cling are dead brown.


In many ways, life today is a lot easier than it was in 1960. But don't kid yourselves. The age that rated childrearing higher than money-grubbing and intellectual exploration higher than career preparation had it exactly right. We might come to miss what we had then, but we are never going back; no nation has ever sacrificed wealth for intangible spiritual satisfactions.


In some important ways, this society has made a tragic but probably inevitable (and certainly irreversible) mistake. Crying about it is senseless. Denying it is cowardly.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.



Yale professor David Gelernter is a senior fellow at the Shalem Center, Jerusalem. To comment, please click here.


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© 2005, Los Angeles Times. Distributed by Los Angeles Times Syndicate

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