"Based on subtle, imaginative readings of autobiographies, memoirs, fiction and secondary sources, "Campus Life"] tells the story of the changing mentalities of American undergraduates over two centuries."--Michael Moffatt, "New York Times Book Review "
To capture the cultural mode of the campus and its changes over the years, Horowitz defines three types of undergraduates - insiders, outsiders and rebels. Their relationships with one another, professors and the world at large influenced the atmosphere of the American campus and affected the students themselves. History is usually written by the victors and certainly by the upper classes. To the author's credit, she realizes that much of what purports to be campus reportage has been written by the insider group, the patricians, the hale and hearty frat members - not by the others. These insiders regarded the ministerial students of the early days and, later, the poor student - often hard-working and mature - as comic or dreary types. However, the stereotypes were, says Horowitz, neither fair nor accurate. The domination of the college culture by the in-crowd did not mean that they held all the power or influence. Others were to change the culture of the schools, and these were mainly the outsiders and the rebels. The ebb and flow of battle is clearly drawn, here and, as related in Horowitz' cross-disciplinary analysis, is fascinating. The author is sensitive to these myriad influences and weaves them into a diverting account of the collegiate experience. Rock-solid sociology - and a good read. (Kirkus Reviews)