Time Essay: America's New Sentimental Journey

The signs are everywhere, and proliferating. Some of them are trivial but telling; others seem to reflect yet another shift in the national mood and the social mode. If the signs are to be believed—and sociologists are sure to debate their significance—the cool-hip chic that has held sway since the 1960s, with its scorn of sentiment and its do-your-own-thing code, is giving way gradually to something suspiciously like a new romanticism. Says Psychologist Sol Gordon, professor of child and family studies at Syracuse University: "Americans no longer want to be cool; they want...

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