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Works by
Alexandra Robbins

  • Quarterlife Crisis (2001) with Abby Wilner
    While the midlife crisis has been thoroughly explored by experts, there is another landmine period in our adult development, called the quarterlife crisis, which can be just as devastating. When young adults emerge at graduation from almost two decades of schooling, during which each step to take is clearly marked, they encounter an overwhelming number of choices regarding their careers, finances, homes, and social networks. Confronted by an often shattering whirlwind of new responsibilities, new liberties, and new options, they feel helpless, panicked, indecisive, and apprehensive.

    Quarterlife Crisis is the first book to document this phenomenon and offer insightful advice on smoothly navigating the challenging transition from childhood to adulthood, from school to the world beyond. It includes the personal stories of more than one hundred twentysomethings who describe their struggles to carve out personal identities; to cope with their fears of failure; to face making choices rather than avoiding them; and to balance all the demanding aspects of personal and professional life. From "What do all my doubts mean?" to "How do I know if the decisions I'm making are right?" this book compellingly addresses the hardest questions facing young adults today.

  • Secrets of the Tomb: Skull and Bones, the Ivy League, and the Hidden Paths of Power (2002)
    The Ivy League is full of societies and clubs, some public and some very private. But none is as secret as Yale's Skull and Bones, a tiny, mysterious society that has somehow spawned three U.S. presidents, including William Howard Taft, George W. Bush, and his father. Skull and Bones' cloak-and-dagger secrecy has prompted people worldwide to attribute to it some of the most staggering conspiracies in modern history-as well as events including the drop of the atom bomb, the rise of Hitler, and the invasion of the Bay of Pigs. From their nearly windowless crypt in the middle of the Yale campus, the Bonesmen, it is said, plot to dominate the world.

    In SECRETS OF THE TOMB, acclaimed journalist Alexandra Robbins slips through the veil of secrecy to investigate, through society documents and interviews with dozens of members, the truth about Skull and Bones' influence and operations. She also explains why this old-boy 19th-century throwback, a product of another time, still thrives in 21st-century America.

  • Conquering Your Quarterlife Crisis: Advice from Twentysomethings Who Have Been There and Survived (2004)
    Alexandra Robbins goes beyond defining the problem of the quarterlife crisis and puts readers on the path to conquering it. She asks-and answers-the tough, soul-searching questions that keep young adults awake at night:

    - How do I weigh doing what I love versus making money?
    - Will I ever find my "soul mate"?
    - Why is it so hard to make friends?
    - Why are my twenties so different from what I expected?

    With new voices as well as follow-up interviews with some of the original Quarterlife Crisis(r) twentysomethings, Conquering Your Quarterlife Crisis(r) is the new go-to guide for people who want it all...but just aren't sure what that is yet.

  • Pledged: The Secret Life of Sororities (2004)
    Now in paperback, the New York Times bestseller-with over 91,000 copies in print-that takes you behind closed doors to see what really goes on in America's sororities ver wonder what sorority life is really like? In Pledged, bestselling author Alexandra Robbins goes undercover to expose the dark side of collegiate sisterhood-the psychological abuse, hazing rituals, and widespread body image disorders-while at the same time introducing us to many of the intelligent, successful women within its ranks. The result is a compelling sociological exploration of the powerful influence that these organizations wield over young women today. With its fly-on-the-wall voyeurism and remarkable insight, Pledged paints a sharp-eyed portrait of the intriguing and paradoxical world of modern-day sororities.

  • The Overachievers: The Secret Lives of Driven Kids (2006)
    In The Overachievers, journalist Alexandra Robbins delivers a poignant, funny, riveting narrative that explores how our high-stakes educational culture has spiraled out of control. During the year of her ten-year reunion, Robbins returns to her high school, where she follows:

    -- Taylor, perceived as “The Popular Girl,” a varsity captain whose ambition threatens her popular status
    -- AP Frank, perceived as “The Workhorse,” who combats horrifying parental pressure
    -- The Stealth Overachiever, a mystery junior who flies under the radar
    -- Sam, perceived as “The Teacher’s Pet,” who frets that his years of overachieving will be wasted if he doesn’t attend a name-brand college
    -- C.J., perceived as “The Flirt,” who feels second-tier when compared with her high-achieving classmates
    -- Julie, perceived as “The Superstar,” an athletic and academic standout who’s terrified she’s making the wrong choices
    -- Audrey, perceived as “The Perfectionist,” who battles illness and fatigue in her quest to be the best
    -- Pete, perceived as “The Meathead,” who is determined not to get caught up in the frenzy, and
    -- Ryland, perceived as “The Slacker,” for whom school pressure becomes his downfall

    With first-hand observations and visits to schools across the country, Robbins tackles hard-hitting issues such as the student and teacher cheating epidemic, over-testing, sports rage, the black market for study drugs, and a college admissions process so cutthroat that some students are driven to depression or suicide because of a B. Even the earliest years of schooling have become insanely competitive, as Robbins learned when she gained unprecedented access into the inner workings of a prestigious Manhattan kindergarten admissions office.

    A fascinating page-turner that combines fast-paced storytelling and spectacular investigative journalism, The Overachievers aims both to calm the admissions frenzy and to expose its escalating dangers.

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