Robert andHelen Lyndare best known for writing the groundbreaking "Middletown" studies ofMuncie, Indiana-Middletown: A Study in Contemporary American Culture(1929) andMiddletown in Transition(1937), which are classics of Americansociology. Muncie was the first community to be systematically examined by sociologists in the United States.
Lynd attended college at Princeton University and earned a divinity degree from Union Theological Seminary. After working as a chaplain in Elk Basin, Wyoming, at a Rockefeller oil camp, Lynd wrote the article "Done in Oil" as an expose of the conditions there. This publication and his community work brought Lynd to the attention of the Rockefeller family and resulted in his being hired for the Middletown community study by the Rockefeller Institute of Social and Religious Research. Subsequent to the study of Muncie, Lynd earned a doctorate in sociology from Columbia University, using an abridged version ofMiddletownas his dissertation.