Gertrude Stein notwithstanding, there has been only one truly "lost generation" this century. That is the generation of the 1950s: the American men and women, now in their 30s, who graduated from college in the Eisenhower era—the so-called "Silent Generation." A member of that age group, TIME Associate Editor Gerald Clarke, 32, reflects on the collective experience of his contemporaries:

To be in your 30s is, by popular definition, to be in the middle—the middle of your career, the middle of your marriage, the middle of your life. Medicine has not yet been able...

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