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The "Korean business"-and a lot of other business that may How_is the dominant fact in the life of today's youth. "I observe that you share the prevailing mood of the hour," Yale's President A. Whitney Griswold told his graduating class last June, "which in your case consists of bargains privately struck with fate-on fate's terms." The hand of fate has been on the U.S. with special gravity since World War I; it has disturbed the lives of America's youth since the '305, through depression and war. The fear of depression has receded; the fear of war remains. Those who have been to war and face recall, and those who face the draft at the end of their schooling, know that they may have to fight before they are much older.
But youth is taking its upsetting uncertainties with extraordinary calm. When the U.S. began to realize how deeply it had committed itself in Korea, youngsters of draft age had a bad case of jitters; but all reports agree that they have since settled down to studying or working for as long as they can. The majority seem to think that war with Russia is inevitable sooner or later, but they feel that they will survive it. Reports TIME'S Los Angeles Bureau: "Today's youth does have some fear of the atomic age. But he does not feel as though he is living on the brink of disaster, nor does he flick on the radio (as was done in the '405) and expect his life to be changed drastically by the news of the moment. There is a feeling that the world is in a ten-round bout, and that there will be no quick or easy knockout."
Hardly anyone wants to go into the Army; there is little enthusiasm for the military life, no enthusiasm for war. Youngsters do not talk like heroes; they admit freely that they will try to stay out of the draft as long as they can. But there is none of the systematized and sentimentalized antiwar feeling of the '205. Pacifism has been almost nonexistent since World War II; so are Oxford Oaths. Some observers regard this as a sign of youth's passivity. But, as a student at Harvard puts it: "When a fellow gets his draft notice in February and keeps on working and planning till June, instead of boozing up every night and having a succession of farewell parties, he has made a very difficult, positive decision. Most make that decision today."
They Are Conventional and Gregarious