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January 31, 1977

A School for Crime

JAMA. 1977;237(5):476. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03270320054026

Having passed through the uproar of the 60s, we should not be too surprised to find a goodly number of the uproarious now joining the establishment. It has been a continuously interesting experience to observe the metamorphosis of these peers of one's youth, who probably never considered Robert Frost's wise presentiment that "I never dared be radical when young, for fear it would make me conservative when old."

Some of the immediate causes of the restlessness of the 60s are well known—among others, Vietnam and the terrible assassinations. These may have acted as the trigger. But we are prone to forget that struggle is always in progress between young and old, usually latent but potentially dangerous if misunderstood. The social habits of the young—seemingly new, revolutionary, and dangerous—are nothing of the kind, for a modus vivendi can usually be found. As human behavior, these are best understood by those willing