In Lessons of a Generation, Clifford Adelman offers a fascinating look at the career and educational choices of the high school class of 1972, with special emphasis on how postsecondary education has made a difference in their lives. Drawing on the largest and richest data archive ever assembled on a generation of Americans, Adelman follows 22,000 members of the senior class of '72 over a fifteen-year period, in and out of school, college, work, family, and community life, and shows how their choices - what courses to take in high school, whether to attend college, and what to study once they are there - have affected who they are and what they do. Adelman explores the career histories of women and demonstrates that the workplace does not always reward educational achievement. He takes a critical look at the preferential treatment offered to special populations by tracking college athletes from adolescence to adulthood. He examines the role that community colleges play as an educational resource for men and women in various life phases. And he reveals much about the strengths and weaknesses of the arguments in today's curricular culture wars.