From the Mindset List


by Tom McBride

THE BABY BOOMER MINDSET LIST Baby Boomers: the cohort of babies born between the mid-1940s and early 1960s in the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Members of various generations have been asking us to prepare “generational Mindset Lists.” This one is the first. Look in the future for Mindset Lists on both the Silent Generation (born in the 30s and early 40s) and Generation X (born in the 60s and 70s). If you like this one, forward the link to your children, grandchildren, friends—and fellow geezers!  1. Fellow Boomers Patrick Swayze, Mary Travers, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, David Bowie, and Ted Bundy are dead. 2. But fellow Boomers Diane Keaton, Jessica Lange, George W. Bush, Glenn Close, and Sissy Spacek   Read on »

MY MIND IS SET–For Now At Least

by Tom McBride

This is the official Mindset List® Blog: Accept no substitutions!  IF YOU DON’T LIKE TRUMP, DON’T BLAME BOOMERS!  Every now and then I hear complaints that Baby Boomers have sold out because they support Donald J. Trump. How can the generation of peace and love (and sex and drugs and rock n’ roll) be in favor of such an authoritarian figure, an American Mussolini? Well, one answer is that not all Boomers were into sex and drugs back then. Another is that people grow more crusty when they get older. But here’s another answer: Among the elderly, Trump’s core support doesn’t come from Boomers but from the generation just before them: THE SILENT GENERATION. “Silents” were born from the 30s to   Read on »


by Tom McBride

THE ECONOMIC VIRTUES OF MILLENNIALS  Tom McBride (Delivered on September 15 at the De Meo/Schneider Investment Conference in Chicago) Deidre McCloskey is a renowned economic historian at the University of Illinois right here in Chicago. One of her more striking ideas is that the virtues of different social groups are strongly determined by their economic status. For instance, the peasant class, having no prospects for financial gain, glommed onto the virtue of humility, linked to the idea that God would reward them for their humility someday in Heaven. For the aristocratic class, whose financial prosperity was assured, courage became a dominant virtue. They who have everything only lack the military adventure of becoming warriors, on battlefields where their bravery will   Read on »

Here It Is! THE MINDSET LIST® for the Class of 2020!

by Tom McBride

Beloit College Releases the Mindset List for This Year’s Entering Class of First-Year College Students, The Class of 2020 Beloit, Wis. — We have had the NOW generation…get ready for the RIGHT NOW generation, entering college this fall. This fall’s entering college students, the class of 2020, were born in 1998 and cannot remember a time when they had to wait for anything. They also can’t recall a time when the United States was not at war, or when someone named Bush or Clinton was not running for office. Each August since 1998, Beloit College has released the Beloit College Mindset List, providing a look at the cultural touchstones that shape the lives of students about to enter college. In   Read on »

Now on Amazon: THE MILLENNIAL PROMISE–40 Tips from The Mindset List®

by Tom McBride

Click on the image to your left for the Amazon link to our latest book: THE MILLENNIAL PROMISE: 40 Tips from The Mindset List®. It’s a terrific guide to all phases of Millennial education–from classroom motivation to high tech instruction to the art of giving assignments.   Think of it as The Elements of Style for Millennial education! It’s a concise little manual for teachers, counselors, administrators–useful for anyone involved in the education and training of America’s most talked-about generation.

ANNUAL PARENTS ADVISORY: 20 Questions New Parents Will Need to Answer!

by Tom McBride

OUR ANNUAL PARENTS’ ADVISORY  It’s a new year, with new babies born every few seconds. Here are twenty questions that new parents will have to answer over the next couple of decades, as they raise the college class of 2038. #1: What was it like when you first saw robots flipping burgers at McDonald’s? #2: Are you telling me that Senator Clinton’s father used to be president, too? #3: What was a family doctor? #4: Why do all these pharmacies and food markets have steeples, like churches? #5: Why did you make we wait until I was seven before giving me a mobile phone? #6: When did the first robot colony land on the moon? #7: How long have people   Read on »

THE BELOIT COLLEGE MINDSET LIST: Class of 2019 (Born 1997!)

by Tom McBride

Author contacts:                        Ron Nief (608-770-2625)                                                                Tom McBride (608-312-9508)                                                                                                    Charles Westerberg (608-225-8100)                                                Beloit College Releases The Mindset List for This Year’s Entering Class of First-Year College Students, The Class of 2019 Beloit, Wis. — Members of the entering college class of 2019 were mostly born in 1997 and have never licked a postage stamp, have assumed that WiFi is an entitlement, and have no first-hand experience of Princess Diana’s charismatic celebrity. Each August since 1998, Beloit College has released the Beloit College Mindset List, providing a look at the cultural touchstones that shape the lives of students entering college this fall. For this year’s entering class there has always been Google; Email, informal to previous   Read on »

What started as a witty way of saying…

to faculty colleagues “watch your references,” has turned into a globally reported and utilized guide to the intelligent. It is requested by thousands of readers, reprinted in hundreds of print and electronic publications, and used for a wide variety of purposes. The Mindset Lists of American History immediately caught the imagination of the public, and in the ensuing years, has drawn responses from around the world. The site contains all of the lists and news about the list’s development. There are also opportunities to provide feedback and to get information on authors Ron Nief and Tom McBride. Read more about The Mindset Lists of American History: From Typewriters to Text Messages, What Ten Generations of Americans Think is Normal, on our book page. See the Mindset List for the Class of 2017»
Mindset List authors Tom McBride, Charles Westerberg, and Ron Nief.

Mindset List authors Tom McBride, Charles Westerberg, and Ron Nief.

About the Authors

Ron Nief  is emeritus director of public affairs at Beloit College, stepping down in 2009 after 14 years. He has been communicating the work of higher education for more than four decades, starting with his alma mater, Boston College in the 1960s and including Brandeis and Clark universities…. Read more »
Tom McBride is a professor of English and Keefer Professor of the Humanities at Beloit College. A graduate of Baylor University and the University of Illinois Urbana/Champaign, he teaches Milton, Shakespeare, and critical theory and has team-taught many interdisciplinary courses…. Read more »

“McBride and Nief should be hailed America’s cultural timekeepers.” —Jim Simon, Seattle Times