Young people new in college were in their cradles when the World War began; they were playing marbles when we entered it. But they are living now in the midst of the Great Depression and amid the rumors of another was hovering over Europe and over the world. They illustrate the paradox hat the youngest generation is the oldest in the way of the funded experience of the race. They will have no traffic with the exploded efficacy of war as a way to end ware. They have read too much recent history and lived too much in the midst of it to believe so easily in either the efficacious or the virtues of the martial spirit. It may be true, as it is often said, that were the bands to begin to play, and the flags to wave, for all the anti-war meetings and resolutions, they would be there, and willingly. But I rather think not. For this revolt against the cliches and conventions connected with war has symptoms of a deeper break with the past.
It is not that (or not simply that) they are disillusioned by the picture of the world around them. They simply have come to realize, as have some of their elders, that the whole question of faith and virtue must be thought through in terms of a world whose morals and religion will have to reflect the transformations in its economic and political life. They are interested, many of them passionately, in finding or constructing some picture of the good life and the great society. What they are rebelling against is archaic mumbo jumbo, moral emptiness and the theological echoes of once living faiths. They wish to make a faith of their own. And in it the elements of cooperativeness rather than acquisitiveness, science rather than mythology, realism rather than ritualism, will, I suspect, have a large part. They wish to start fresh. And the generation just ahead of them has not so much to be proud of in what it has made of the world that it should wish to gainsay them in their own new deal.
--Irwin Edmon, in the New York Herald-Tribune.