The Twilight of Students' Radical Reading

What happened to Sylvia Plath and Allen Ginsberg?
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Mar 8, 2009 4:03 PM CDT
Fans purchase the fourth book in the "Twilight" series at Borders on August 1, 2008 in Chicago.    (Getty Images)
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – A few decades ago, college kids turned to radicals to satisfy their literary thirst, but on today’s campuses, “you're more likely to hear a werewolf howl than Allen Ginsberg,” writes Ron Charles in the Washington Post. Other than Barack Obama’s tomes, the bestselling books among college students these days are the Twilight series. “The only specter haunting the groves of American academe seems to be suburban contentment.”

“The entire culture has become narcotized,” says a professor. Compare that to the ‘60s, when Abbie Hoffman, Sylvia Plath, and Anais Nin were all the rage. But a writer on progressive youth politics says book choice simply isn’t a good barometer of student spirit. “People don't necessarily read their politics nowadays. They get it through YouTube and blogs and social networks.”