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August 06, 1995|CHARLES SOLOMON

WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE: The Why Behind 'Generation X' by Geoffrey T. Holtz (St. Martin's Griffin: $14.95; 289 pp., paperback original). Douglas Holtz is angry: He feels that the young Americans usually referred to as "Generation X" have gotten a raw deal. He counters the dismissals of his peers as vapid Know-Nothings with facts, figures, theories and graphs. The feel-good experiments of the '60s and '70s deprived what Holtz calls the "Free Generation" of the education their predecessors received, just as the cutthroat rapacity of the '80s deprived them of most economic opportunities. It's an alarming portrait of the future of America, weakened by occasional errors: In a discussion of the worrisome drop in SAT and GRE scores, Holts confuses sewn and sown.

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