Undergraduates: The Politically Disengaged

In most countries, youth gets passionately political when it tastes higher education and rapid social change. Yet American collegians, taken as a whole, remain unconcerned: even the current political revival on U.S. campuses probably does not involve more than a tenth of all students. What feeds this peculiar American trait, and will it ever change?

The question is asked in the Phi Beta Kappa magazine American Scholar by Kenneth Keniston. a Rhodes scholar and Harvard junior fellow, whose brilliant reconnoitering of psychology, philosophy and political science at Harvard led him to focus on...

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