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Generations: The History of America's Future, 1584 to 2069

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Hailed by national leaders as politically diverse as former Vice President Al Gore and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Generations has been heralded by reviewers as a brilliant, if somewhat unsettling, reassessment of where America is heading. William Strauss and Neil Howe posit the history of America as a succession of generational biographies, beginning in 1584 and en Hailed by national leaders as politically diverse as former Vice President Al Gore and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Generations has been heralded by reviewers as a brilliant, if somewhat unsettling, reassessment of where America is heading. William Strauss and Neil Howe posit the history of America as a succession of generational biographies, beginning in 1584 and encompassing everyone through the children of today. Their bold theory is that each generation belongs to one of four types, and that these types repeat sequentially in a fixed pattern. The vision of Generations allows us to plot a recurring cycle in American history—a cycle of spiritual awakenings and secular crises—from the founding colonists through the present day and well into this millenium. Generations is at once a refreshing historical narrative and a thrilling intuitive leap that reorders not only our history books but also our expectations for the twenty-first century.


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Hailed by national leaders as politically diverse as former Vice President Al Gore and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Generations has been heralded by reviewers as a brilliant, if somewhat unsettling, reassessment of where America is heading. William Strauss and Neil Howe posit the history of America as a succession of generational biographies, beginning in 1584 and en Hailed by national leaders as politically diverse as former Vice President Al Gore and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Generations has been heralded by reviewers as a brilliant, if somewhat unsettling, reassessment of where America is heading. William Strauss and Neil Howe posit the history of America as a succession of generational biographies, beginning in 1584 and encompassing everyone through the children of today. Their bold theory is that each generation belongs to one of four types, and that these types repeat sequentially in a fixed pattern. The vision of Generations allows us to plot a recurring cycle in American history—a cycle of spiritual awakenings and secular crises—from the founding colonists through the present day and well into this millenium. Generations is at once a refreshing historical narrative and a thrilling intuitive leap that reorders not only our history books but also our expectations for the twenty-first century.

30 review for Generations: The History of America's Future, 1584 to 2069

  1. 5 out of 5

    Bruce Kuznicki

    I liked this book and found its basic idea intriguing. However, as the book progressed, in particular as it addressed elements of history I am knowledgeable about, I saw that the authors' scholarship was sometimes shoddy; they misused elements of history they knew superficially or not at all in ways that made me doubt them generally. Essentially, I encountered this often enough to begin suspecting they were simply assuming their overall theory was correct and had not done the rigorous work of tr I liked this book and found its basic idea intriguing. However, as the book progressed, in particular as it addressed elements of history I am knowledgeable about, I saw that the authors' scholarship was sometimes shoddy; they misused elements of history they knew superficially or not at all in ways that made me doubt them generally. Essentially, I encountered this often enough to begin suspecting they were simply assuming their overall theory was correct and had not done the rigorous work of truly penetrating those moments in our history to see if their hypothesis stood up to such analysis. Nonetheless, I also had the sense that they were on to something. I'm not sure exactly what that something is, and I'm also quite doubtful that their own sense of what they've "discovered" is almost surely mostly wrong, but even so, they've opened up a manner of understanding American History that might be profitably explored, and at this point, this book is worth considering because of the window it may open on that manner of seeing this history. I don't think a reader needs to read the whole book; not surprisingly, it's when they begin speculating about the future that they are treading on the most dangerous ground, which they can hardly be blamed for-- even if their scholarship was more rigorous and reliable, making predictions about a near future that their readers would be living within the moment would be nearly impossible. Additionally, one can get the jist of their thinking by reading perhaps 150-200 pp. Still, though I give the book only three stars, I still rather heartily recommend that readers give it that 150-200 pp chance.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    There are several aspects of this book to review. Writing style: a bit dry. This is forgivable: the authors are laying out a hypothesis that covers almost 500 years of American history, and they want to make sure you've got all their evidence. I figure the book could've been tightened up, but I guess it's better they erred on the side of too much explanation rather than not enough. The generational theory: plausible and fascinating. The authors summarize the history of 14 generations of Americans There are several aspects of this book to review. Writing style: a bit dry. This is forgivable: the authors are laying out a hypothesis that covers almost 500 years of American history, and they want to make sure you've got all their evidence. I figure the book could've been tightened up, but I guess it's better they erred on the side of too much explanation rather than not enough. The generational theory: plausible and fascinating. The authors summarize the history of 14 generations of Americans, showing how each generation fits into a cycle of four types and how these types interact. At the same time, they detail how American history alternates between spiritual awakenings and crises that usually hit at predictable intervals. It takes a while to get through this part of the book, but it's interesting to see the patterns develop. The predictions: some hits, some misses. By now, 17 years after first publication, there's been time to see if the authors' theories would hold up. They've been doing better at cultural trends rather than events. I don't place the "alienating event" they thought would hit in the 1990s, but they did a fine job of describing the culture of helicopter parents years before that became a catchphrase. Still, it's hard to watch the economy crash, hear about environmental problems settling in, catch the news on the latest terrorist attack, and not think of their predicted Crisis of 2020, more or less on schedule. The book will take time to get through (and you could skim parts of it), but there are worse ways to spend your free time.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Simone Collins

    There are only so many books in the world capable of revolutionizing the way one views people and trends. Generations is one of these rare treasures. This 538-page tome co-authored by William Strauss and Neil Howe, lays the foundation of a fascinating theory about generational, social, and political patterns and trends in the United States. Howe and Strauss argue that since its inception, the United States has seen four repeating generational cohorts which are labeled as Idealists, Reactives, Civ There are only so many books in the world capable of revolutionizing the way one views people and trends. Generations is one of these rare treasures. This 538-page tome co-authored by William Strauss and Neil Howe, lays the foundation of a fascinating theory about generational, social, and political patterns and trends in the United States. Howe and Strauss argue that since its inception, the United States has seen four repeating generational cohorts which are labeled as Idealists, Reactives, Civics, and Adaptives. These generations have exhibited predictable cycles (with one exception during the Civil War) and have made unique impacts on the country's politics, society, culture, laws, and diplomatic relations. So far as I am concerned, Generations is mandatory reading for anyone interested in trend research. I have often been of the opinion that we can learn a great deal about future developments by looking at patterns in history. With Generations, Strauss and Howe have done the pattern recognition for us, and present a beautiful framework which can be utilized to make significant and useful predictions about future trends in advertising, product design, investing, politics, and a litany of other fields.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jen Watkins

    This is a fascinating way to learn history. It makes the history of the US very tangible. I am still deciding the extent to which history is shaped by the characteristics of the generation in charge. There are some revolutionary implications here.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Nick

    Howe & Strauss present a very interesting and useful theory about how generations are different and what makes them so. It is called the generational archetype of four different generational types which follow one another in a repeating order: Idealist, Reactive, Civic, and Adaptive. There are two divisions in the generations: Dominant (idealist & civic) Recessive (reactive and adaptive). The dominant generations follow from a spiritual awakening (idealists) or from a secular crisis (civics). The Howe & Strauss present a very interesting and useful theory about how generations are different and what makes them so. It is called the generational archetype of four different generational types which follow one another in a repeating order: Idealist, Reactive, Civic, and Adaptive. There are two divisions in the generations: Dominant (idealist & civic) Recessive (reactive and adaptive). The dominant generations follow from a spiritual awakening (idealists) or from a secular crisis (civics). The recessive generations follow from an inner driven era (reactives) or an outer driven era (adaptives) which relate to how the awakening or crises resolve themselves. Awakenings result in inner driven eras pushing back against social change, and outer driven eras follow from crises to protect social changes. In response to the conditions of the previous dominant generation come a reaction to crisis or awakening. The reaction following a crisis period by the recessive adaptive generation is of maintenance of the social order, an outer driven era. The response to a spiritual awakening is cynicism and social fragmentation and polarization, which for the resulting Reactive generation means an inner driven era to separate from the social order. Dominant Civic- secular crisis Idealist- spiritual awakening Recessive Adaptive- outer driven era Reactive- inner driven era This book is written to apply to the United States, beginning in 1584. The authors claim this is because generations matter more in the US than they have in the old world, given that the US was the first modern small-l liberal and small-r republican government, rather than being ruled by kings and nobles in which a child, Louis XIV of France, could ascend the throne and not reflect the current adult generation. As more countries become democratic and capitalist, the archetype should become apparent in the culture. Something to consider is that being a dominant generation as opposed to recessive doesn't make the generation inherently better, and not necessarily a cause of their own conditions. They are dominant because of a crisis or awakening and what they do strongly influences the future social order. Leaders of the social revolutions of the sixties were mostly older than boomers, often of the silent generation, and the boomers normalized their goals into public life with both good and bad results. The progressive generation saw women gain the right to vote, but also the failure of the treaty of Versailles. They were followed by the reactive Lost Generation of the interwar era, before the civic Greatest Generation dealt with the crises from this era. It seems to be the case that dominant generations give birth or at least influence the next dominant generation, and recessive generations give birth and/or influence the next recessive generation. An idealist generation comes from a civic generation, and the next civic generation comes from an idealist generation. Idealist-Civic-Idealist-Civic... Adaptive-Reactive-Adaptive-Reactive... The generation which influences you the most, your parents, seems to skip a cycle to maintain the dominant/recessive chain. These four types complete a cycle of roughly 90 years the authors call a saeculum, almost a century. Over the twentieth century the cycle went: Civic: the greatest generation (1910-1924) Adaptive: the silent generation (1925-1942) Idealist: the baby boom generation (1943-1960) Reactive: generation x (1961-1981) The start and end points are somewhat vague for generations as they are defined as a cohort over a period of time shaped by major social events relating to secular crises and spiritual awakenings and their aftermath. The greatest generation, the authors call them the GI generation, was defined by coming of age in the Great Depression and service in World War II, which were secular crises, so their cohort would be those old enough to have lived in the depression but young enough to be young adults during the war. The silent generation was mostly too young to serve in World War II and were young adults by the Korean War of the early 1950s and the Eisenhower administration. This cohort came of age in the aftermath secular crises of war and economic depression and and abided by the postwar consensus. Their recessive attitude was oriented outward to defend the consensus. The baby boomer generation came of age in the 1960s and agitated against the social consensus put into place by the GI's. Their spiritual awakening took place as young adults during the Vietnam war and the civil rights era. Generation x, the authors call them 13ers, grew up after the idealism of the 60s turned into the excess and disillusionment of the 1970s. Rising crime and stagflation instilled a cynical attitudes towards institutions and the idealism of the previous generation. This generation withdrew to inner life as the 80s and 90s saw a return to economic growth and social stability. And the cycle begins again with the millennial generation (1982-1998) which is predicted by Howe and Strauss in 1991 to be a civic generation. Though it's not agreed what exact years make the millennial generation, I define the cohort as becoming an adult sometime before the end of the Obama presidency, 2016, but not before the year 2000, the millennium. The early millennials are born from the baby boomer idealist generation. Millennials grow up during the economic prosperity of the 80's and 90's, the end of the Cold War, and into the culture wars fought by the boomers. Millennials come of age after 9/11 and with economic challenges following the end of the 90s tech boom and the worldwide 2008 Great Recession. This is similar to the upbringing of the GI Generation in the 1920s prosperity and culture wars which was followed by the Great Depression and World War II. Millennials are for Howe and Strauss the turning of the saeculum who will like the GI's define their century, the twenty first. As for the next generation after the millennials, whatever they will be called, Howe & Strauss' theory predicts an adaptive generation to come next: born in the 21st century and fully immersed in the Internet, social media, and the post-9/11 order. Whatever order millennials come up with, the next generation will probably work within and maintain it. I think the generational archetype is a useful way for understanding history and even making predictions. It seems Jungian to me, not just in the use of archetypes but how dominant and recessive relate to Jung's anima and animus: the extrovert-introvert, masculine-feminine, and active-passive side of all our our natures. People will deride the generational archetype as unfalsifiable just as they would Jung's psychology, but its popularity and influence is as wide as Jung is in his field.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Lori

    This is one of the most fascinating theories I have ever read and considered. Can the cycles of history be predicted (in broad brush strokes, of course) by the general character traits displayed by the elderly, the middle aged, the young adults and the children of each generational cycle. The authors suggest that, yes, somewhat accurate predictions can be made. The rest is a very intriguing look at American history and the people who have played a role in this history at various points in their l This is one of the most fascinating theories I have ever read and considered. Can the cycles of history be predicted (in broad brush strokes, of course) by the general character traits displayed by the elderly, the middle aged, the young adults and the children of each generational cycle. The authors suggest that, yes, somewhat accurate predictions can be made. The rest is a very intriguing look at American history and the people who have played a role in this history at various points in their lives...the crusading Wobblies and Vietnam War protestors, the GIs during WWII, the Jazz Babies and Doughboys that came before them...and even the disaffected "Clerks" of today all employ different methods for dealing with the events of their life spans and develop various generational emotional responses and styles. Critics will always point to the people they know (or themselves) as atypical of the stereotypes of their cohort group. Certainly all people are individuals and it is unsettling to think one can be locked into a set of circumstances merely by the accident of when you were born. However, there are some arguments put forth in Generations that compel the reader to at least consider the circle of cause and effect outlined within the pages. As a hypothetical illustration, I'll go with the image of the "clerk" figure...Imagine 4 young men or women working a low status and low pay clerk job in a shop. The youth of the Depression/WWII years would merely look at it as a job...lucky to have anything during hard times. The money would probably go toward helping their family with essentials like food and heat. They would make the most of it, be unconcerned with status or career path and probably still find ways to save a portion of their paltry income. The youth of the immediate post-war years would take the job out of a sense of responsibility. They would take solace in the fact that they would probably not be clerking in 5 years as other and better opportunities arose. They might use some of their income toward college tuition and be the first in their families to take this leap. They would even look back fondly on their first jobs as a last period of relative freedom before assuming the mantle of adult worries. The boomer youth may not really "have to" work. However, their GI (and older) parents want them to learn the value of earning their own money. The boomers might spend a larger chunk of their income on themselves for entertainment. The boomers would not see this period of low status work as permanent. They might use periods like this to consider what they really want to do with their lives and plan ahead. They might also drop back in to lower status work from time to time if they get disillusioned with school or some other occupational training. The Gen X youth may have grown up with the sense that they would not "have to" work at this kind of job at all. However, their rising adulthood presents a period of shifting back down the economic scale. They may initially take the low pay/low status job as a temporary fix and be surprised and disappointed to find themselves staying in the job longer than expected, with fewer outside opportunities than expected. They may not be conditioned to save as much money as they should and go into debt as they fail to come to terms with the fact that they will have less leisure time and discretionary income than the generations immediately before them. However, they will also have the wherewithall to piece together part time jobs if needed. It is amusing to think about this book after the fact and plug in your own life experiences and observations. It is also unnerving, as these dismal times we are living now were predicted in the early 90s within the pages of Generations.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Nishant Mehrotra

    Maybe the most important economic history of the United States/sociology book I’ve ever read. Each generation cohort has a mood. Almost startling how they predict the incoming crisis of the 2020s from back in 1990. And how it’s the old over the young in terms of political power (with a big shift to millennial gen (born 1981-2000) taking over by 2030). The negatives of this book is not enough exploration of world events (outside North America) in similar spiritual awakening and secular crisis per Maybe the most important economic history of the United States/sociology book I’ve ever read. Each generation cohort has a mood. Almost startling how they predict the incoming crisis of the 2020s from back in 1990. And how it’s the old over the young in terms of political power (with a big shift to millennial gen (born 1981-2000) taking over by 2030). The negatives of this book is not enough exploration of world events (outside North America) in similar spiritual awakening and secular crisis periods that occur every 80 years. However I’m now a believer! I’m part of the cult after reading 400 pages . This book flies once you get past the general thesis. The description of the independent don’t give a shit artistic Gen x was absolutely spot on. And idealist, Boomers too. They didn’t have much to work with on the Millennial - oldest being 8 at the time of publication. We don’t like risk yet we want to change the outer world. The reincarnation of GI generation. Will income inequality, climate change and debt crisis be our Great Depression/WW2? Sparked by the pandemic. This may lead to geopolitical tensions. Hopefully a more peaceful transition. Will the boomers make all federal, state, SS, and medicare taxes be derived from capital gains instead of payroll taxes? Canada will pump up taxes too. Tax the fruit of the harvest, not the laborers. That seems to be the vibe amongst us community-minded Civic generation. Highly recommend this read. Especially if you’re wondering what does this crisis scenario entail. You need generational awareness as Robert Greene mentions in his also mega book -The laws of human nature. Every gen has a personality that changes at it ages. You as an individual may differ from the ‘virtue signalling millennial or ‘hedonistic’ boomers but you can’t deny your generations overall personality. That’s what this book stresses- by looking at trends over 500 years. It’s a little bit freaky. Learn from reading history at 20,000 feet in the air. That will give you more broad based thinking and decisions making ability. Not the daily minutiae of the news.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Richards

    Approaching American history from the perspective of age location cohort groups moving through history, showing how different generations experience crises based on their upbringing, and how they interact with other generations was a really unique and invigorating. I have to credit Strauss and Howe for coming up with it. Unfortunately, they also came up with this really wacky hypothesis about how there are four basic "personalities" of generations (idealistic, reactive, civic, and adaptive) that Approaching American history from the perspective of age location cohort groups moving through history, showing how different generations experience crises based on their upbringing, and how they interact with other generations was a really unique and invigorating. I have to credit Strauss and Howe for coming up with it. Unfortunately, they also came up with this really wacky hypothesis about how there are four basic "personalities" of generations (idealistic, reactive, civic, and adaptive) that repeat in predetermined cycles, which I found to be unsupported by the historical record. Most of the time, especially from the chapters from 1584 to the early 1900s, it felt like they were cherry-picking quotes mostly from wealthy statesmen and prominent religious figures and used it to generalize the attitude of an entire generation to fit the "attitude" that generation was supposed to have according to their hypothesis. I would have been more persuaded by evidence that was much more representative of the country as a whole. There were also many other historical trends they ignored to justify their cycle theory. The first one I noticed was the lack of a global perspective and the impact of immigration on American society: it was mentioned early on that the "Puritan" and "Cavalier" generations were mostly from completely different parts of Britain and had different upbringings, but didn't discuss how this would lead to the next two generations (Glorious and Enlightenment) being raised by different sets of parents with different values. They also laregly ignored how industrialization impacted America and the divides between rural/urban, poor/rich, and racial minorities within generations. Why was the history of African Americans and how it interacted with the rest of American history largely considered during the Transcendental generation, then a few chapters later in the G.I. generations treated like they didn't exist at all outside Sidney Portier? I was also very frustrated in them not showing how history changes over time and how an "Idealist" generation in the 1700s is very different from one in the 1900s. The Great Awakening is treated in pretty much the same manner as the Consciousness revolution of the 1960s without showing how the influence of religion on American society actually has decreased over time. Many of their ideas about how "Reactive" generations always coddle their kids and "Adaptive" generations demonize their kids are starkly contradicted by material evidence I read in the history of American childhood by Karin Calvert that shows how ideas about what childhood even is greatly morphed from the Lockean principle of the Enlightenment age where they were seen as mini-humans to the Victorian age where they were innocent and untainted by the wickedness of adults. Probably worst of all is all the confirmation bias and the fact their cycles theory is completely unfalsifiable. They actually say that a civic generation was "skipped over" during the Civil War cycle because the Civil War didn't turn out as positively as other civil crises. Talk about fitting a square peg into a round hole! If anything would have disproved their theory of cycles, it should have been the evidence that there was a whole cycle that defied it. As their theory was able to explain away anything, this felt more like a book of prophecy or astrology than a book of history. Which it did become in the final section, where they used generational "costellations" to make some predictions for how the future of United States would shape up from 1991 when this book was published to 2069. By the way, as of 2015 most of their predictions have proved to be hilariously wrong. There are still a few reasons to read this book, mainly the fact that it's the only history of America of it's kind, it's entertaining, and it has a lot of interesting factoids about the different generations that put things into perspective (love the names they coined for all the generations, including the next two of "Millennial" and "Homeland" by the way.) There might also be a few insights to gain here and there. It's just a shame such a great concept had to be bogged down by a really terrible hypothesis and even worse evidence. I hope someone other than Howe takes a stab at writing a history of the American generations. Maybe the second time around will be the charm.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Ben Newton

    I've been wanting to read this book for years because I had started wondering on my own if generations were substantively different from each other and moved in cycles, although I had only gotten as far as positing 2 generational archetypes and not the four this book suggests. I hadn't read the book before now because I was concerned I was a little bit TOO ready to embrace the ideas in this book and wouldn't be reading it with a critical enough eye. I think I was right, because it is the nature I've been wanting to read this book for years because I had started wondering on my own if generations were substantively different from each other and moved in cycles, although I had only gotten as far as positing 2 generational archetypes and not the four this book suggests. I hadn't read the book before now because I was concerned I was a little bit TOO ready to embrace the ideas in this book and wouldn't be reading it with a critical enough eye. I think I was right, because it is the nature of a book like this, making pronouncements about every American ever, that you must accept its ideas or not based on your own personal experience and inductive reasoning. The authors support their theory with examples, but even if they had tripled the size of the book and filled the entirety of that extra space with supporting evidence, they could easily have cherry-picked their data. That being said, I do think this book got a lot right, or at least made enough interesting points to be worthy of consideration. I wish that other authors had gotten interested in the idea and written some articles debating the details of the book's theory; I think that would have been a very interesting conversation. But, twenty years after this book was published, it doesn't look like anyone is going to be taking the bait. As far as I know, only the authors themselves have written any follow-on works to this one. There are three parts to this book. The first part lays out their idea of a four-part generation cycle and explains each generation's role in the cycle. The second part is brief, couple-page biographies of each of the eighteen generations (as defined by the authors) there have been in America since Europe began sending over colonists. The final part tries to extrapolate from the second and makes predictions about the general arc American history will take in the coming decades. My advice would be to skim the first part of the book and only really dig in once you get to the biographies. The first part is very dry and lays out a lot of vocabulary exactly one time and then the rest of the book assumes you are an expert in the vocabulary. You won't be able to (or at least I couldn't!) 100% follow the thread until you've gotten a little ways into the meat of the book and seen the authors' ideas in action. Reviewing this twenty years after publication, I can already comment on the accuracy of some of the predictions made in the book. The authors predict that if a secular crisis doesn't strike America by the year 2020 (terrorist attack or financial crisis were two possibilities they mentioned), the Baby Boom generation will manufacture one out of whatever minor issues they can lay to hand. Up until the crisis, Boomers will ratchet up a culture war, trying to purify all Americans to a set of morals (although they won't be able to agree amongst themselves which morals until the crisis hits), just as other idealist generations did before the Revolutionary War, Civil War, and WWII. Once the crisis hits, the Boom will finally unify around one set of ideals, and once they do the other generations will unify around them too. Generation X, hardbitten and pragmatic by dint of their relatively neglected youth, will become excellent managers of the crisis. And strictly-raised Millennial youth will cheerfully do what they're told and work together to achieve almost any goal that's put in front of them. So far, according to this theory, we should be in the middle of a passionate culture war... I think they're doing well. All this has also had the side effect of getting me pretty frustrated with the Boom, which is ironic considering the book was written by two boomers, and they seem to think highly of their generation!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Stacey

    I read the 1991 edition of this book meaning it came out when I was one of those little Millennials, not really in the scenes of society. We were just children raised in a protected and loving homes. I have to say some of the predictions were a bit kooky but there were a few were spot on. I do see my generation more team-oriented, community-based folks while many of us do get along with our Boomer aged parents. It's fun to read about our American history in a different lens through generations a I read the 1991 edition of this book meaning it came out when I was one of those little Millennials, not really in the scenes of society. We were just children raised in a protected and loving homes. I have to say some of the predictions were a bit kooky but there were a few were spot on. I do see my generation more team-oriented, community-based folks while many of us do get along with our Boomer aged parents. It's fun to read about our American history in a different lens through generations and their cycles. I learned things that I didn't learn in history and Social studies classes in my youth. For example, the southern (Adaptive) Compromisers (b. 1767-91) wanted to abolished slavery and they had antislavery societies to plan a way to wean the South of slaves but they lost power when their next juniors, Transcendental Idealists came into power. For years I have been taught that the Southerns before and during the Civil War years loved having slaves to stay with their bourgeois lifestyles. Then there were things I didn't understand since I didn't have background knowledge. This book took me days to read through but I will have to reread to understand it more. Through the first read, I enjoy seeing the patterns of each generational cycles. As a Millenial, I have been influenced by my elders (GI, Silent, Boomers and Gen-Xers). I feel I got the social justice bug, first by the Silent generation elders (one of them was my former 4th grade teacher) and was encouraged by the Boomer and Gen-Xer teachers and older adults. Did you know that there hasn't any US presidents from the Silent Generation (b. 1925-43) meaning it's the first time we skipped a generation as a president since we first became a nation over 300 years ago? I think a couple of them were VPs with a GI or Boomer aged US presidents. Personally I would love to vote in a US president from the Silent Generation (youngest is age 70 this year) since their strengths are pluralism, expertise, social justice and tolerance. Of course this president should have a mix of Silent, Boomers, Gen-Xers, and Millenianls (the oldest of us at age 31 this year) as part of the president cabinet and White House staff to get a good balance approach in creating an amazing system of the 21st century and hopefully beyond. Hmm, after reading this book it makes me want to befriend the surviving GIs and elderly Silents so I can learn as much as I can before they disappear from our living history and into just history. How many Millenials out there enjoy reflecting about generations and ours specifically? Sometimes I feel like I can relate with my elders better than my own generation. Plus I do get along with the younger generation, the new Adaptives (no cool nickname yet) since right now I am in the educational field. Wow, it'll be weird to see the first wave Millennials as middle age in the next decade. But already I have some peers who became parents at an early age so they are raising the new Adaptive kids. (Though I knew a couple same-age peers who became first time parents at age 18 so they are raising the youngest of us Millenials.) I'm probably be one of those Millenial who would get married and have children at an older age (following the Gen-Xers) so my kids will be the new Idealists. They will remind me of my own parents and my friends' parents. Crazy, huh?

  11. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    The book explicitly states a desire to risk "predicting" future trends, so that readers of the future could easily judge his theories for their pragmatic worth. Fifteen years after publication, confirmation of this book's concepts can be found in both the macro environment of world events and the microcosm of the thoughtful reader's own web of social interactions: with parents, coworkers, peers and children. The book's thesis is that American history follows a near-century long cycle of four ge The book explicitly states a desire to risk "predicting" future trends, so that readers of the future could easily judge his theories for their pragmatic worth. Fifteen years after publication, confirmation of this book's concepts can be found in both the macro environment of world events and the microcosm of the thoughtful reader's own web of social interactions: with parents, coworkers, peers and children. The book's thesis is that American history follows a near-century long cycle of four generational archetypes: secular builders, spiritual seekers, pragmatic rebels and refined curators. The living examples of these types are the G.I. generation who fought in WWII, the Boomers, Generation "X", and the "silent generation"-- born too late to fight with the GIs and too early to uh... frolic... with the Boomers. The book takes us on an tour of American history, highlighting the interplay between the historical forces shaping each generation in their youth, and how each generation makes their stamp on history as adults. It's a compelling argument, in that he illustrates how that generation's impact sets the stage for the generations following, perpetuating the cycle. The story is well-told and insightful; I am no scholar of history, but there is an intensely believable intellectual honesty. A significant deviation in the pattern appears at the time of the Civil War, but rather than shoehorn the facts to fit their pattern, the authors concede the disruption, analyze the situation, and present an explanation that rings true; indeed, that echoes into the present day. Here are just two simple predictions from the book (written in 1990-91, published in '92): American presidential leadership "skipping over" the Silent generation, from the "greatest generation" GIs to the Boomer generation (Bush I to Clinton). A "secular crisis" in the first decade of the millennium -- and the potentially disastrous results if that happened too early in the decade, when crusading Boomers were in charge, but pragmatic (yes, I said pragmatic) Xers were not yet influential enough to effect the implementation of policy. Written before the Internet, before the Clinton presidency, before "Generation X" was even named (Douglas Coupland's book came out contemporaneously, so the authors call Xers "13ers", acknowledging that their culturally accepted name will likely be different) "Generations: A History of America's Future, 1584-2069" should be read by anyone looking for an insightful, well researched sociological study with a futurist slant. Deep without resorting to cryptic conspiracy theory, Strauss & Howe's work is a page-turning read which could improve both our political decisions and our family relations.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Chrisl

    Would like to re-read - wish it was still available in regional library. *** NYTimes has a recent article putting book in perspective: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/28/us... "In the preface to “Generations” nearly 30 years ago, they nodded to the despair that boomers sometimes felt about the character of their peers. “You may feel some disappointment,” they said, “in the Dan Quayles and Donald Trumps who have been among the first of your agemates to climb life’s pyramid.” Mr. Howe will admit to som Would like to re-read - wish it was still available in regional library. *** NYTimes has a recent article putting book in perspective: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/28/us... "In the preface to “Generations” nearly 30 years ago, they nodded to the despair that boomers sometimes felt about the character of their peers. “You may feel some disappointment,” they said, “in the Dan Quayles and Donald Trumps who have been among the first of your agemates to climb life’s pyramid.” Mr. Howe will admit to some disappointment himself on where Mr. Trump is on life’s pyramid: “I think thus far,” he said, “it’s fair to say that Trump has not grown into the role.” *** (In context of the book's theory, I appreciate being a member of the 'Silent Generation.' https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silent_... *** https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strauss... quote from wiki - "According to the theory, historical events are associated with recurring generational personas (Archetypes). These generational personas unleash a new era (called a turning) in which a new social, political, and economic climate exists. These successive eras (turnings) tend to last around 20–22 years." ***

  13. 5 out of 5

    Aimeslee

    Ok, about this book, I'm cultish. Inside its pages are all the truths one needs to understand history, time and how it changes. Seriously. I am an ardent believer in this generational history theory. I see it every single day. Take the current presidential race. Obama's camp figured out at the beginning how to fuel change: grab the Millenials' loyalty by branding Obama as cool and *one of them*. (Millenials generation is 1982-2000 approximately). GenX (1961-1981) soon followed suit, as they do te Ok, about this book, I'm cultish. Inside its pages are all the truths one needs to understand history, time and how it changes. Seriously. I am an ardent believer in this generational history theory. I see it every single day. Take the current presidential race. Obama's camp figured out at the beginning how to fuel change: grab the Millenials' loyalty by branding Obama as cool and *one of them*. (Millenials generation is 1982-2000 approximately). GenX (1961-1981) soon followed suit, as they do tend to do, especially if Oprah says to do it. Con job? Oh, yes, but hey, nothing's off limits in politics. Together, these two generations, without knowing much at all about what Obama really stands for, are fixing to decide the Presidency, unless the old farts (Boomers 1943-1960, and Silents 1925-1942) can stop them. Personally, either way the election goes, I think we are about to elect the next Hoover. (And incidentally, Hoover got a huge youth vote in 1928, on account of his humanitarian food work after WWI). Sometimes, the young just have to learn the hard way and if they elect Obama, they will learn a hard lesson. And that's why I looooove this book. It's a long, complicated and very much history-like read, which is why a lot of younger people will not read it, but it's so worth it, once the theory finally settles in your brain intact.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Martin Lowery

    Generations presented an unique and very interesting theory that could be applied to all of history as we know it. The book itself was tedious at times, and also very repetitive. While the first 100 pages, where the authors first formulate their theory, was fabulous, the proceeding chapters where they try and apply the theory to historical generations began to become dry. Towards the end, the book picks up, when it applies the generational theory to the modern day and makes predictions about the Generations presented an unique and very interesting theory that could be applied to all of history as we know it. The book itself was tedious at times, and also very repetitive. While the first 100 pages, where the authors first formulate their theory, was fabulous, the proceeding chapters where they try and apply the theory to historical generations began to become dry. Towards the end, the book picks up, when it applies the generational theory to the modern day and makes predictions about the millenials generation. As a civic generation, Strauss and Howe do make some general predictions, such as the a President running for hope and change in 2004 or 2008, only to be defeated by a reactionary President afterwords. Even though it was written in the 90s, one can't help but apply the predictions to today's political landscape.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Erik Rostad

    Exceptional book. The authors look back through American history to identify 4 generation types, 5 cycles of these 4 generations, and then take that information to extrapolate into the future. Written in 1991, their future predictions are frighteningly prescient. I loved this book. It provided a framework to consider American history. I wish I had read this earlier in life, for it would have helped me place historical events, people, and turning points within a setting of generations. It was amaz Exceptional book. The authors look back through American history to identify 4 generation types, 5 cycles of these 4 generations, and then take that information to extrapolate into the future. Written in 1991, their future predictions are frighteningly prescient. I loved this book. It provided a framework to consider American history. I wish I had read this earlier in life, for it would have helped me place historical events, people, and turning points within a setting of generations. It was amazing to see how the generation types repeat themselves on a fairly regular schedule. This is a favorite book of Bill Clinton, Newt Gingrich, Al Gore, and Steve Bannon. I can now see why.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Rob Salkowitz

    One of the most important and influential books of the last 20 years. Offers a completely novel way to look at American history with breathtaking explanatory and predictive power. A huge inspiration for my own work.

  17. 5 out of 5

    John Beeler

    This book is a joke. Ha!

  18. 4 out of 5

    anguinea

    I really was intrigued by this book and find myself referring back to it a lot.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Casey

    Reading this with hopes to gain insight into why Trump is an actual candidate for presidency.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jim

    Generations is a four and three quarters book. Its flawed in thinking too much of a schema. However, the schema is highly accurate. I read the book in 1999 and found it compelling, compelling enough to read the Fourth Turning, wherein, the authors toned down the...almost Hegelian or Platonic abstraction, into which one fits the empirical. I keep thinking of this book though, over years. A couple of things I wish to note: first is the survey of Generation X, as compared to a similar survey of what Generations is a four and three quarters book. Its flawed in thinking too much of a schema. However, the schema is highly accurate. I read the book in 1999 and found it compelling, compelling enough to read the Fourth Turning, wherein, the authors toned down the...almost Hegelian or Platonic abstraction, into which one fits the empirical. I keep thinking of this book though, over years. A couple of things I wish to note: first is the survey of Generation X, as compared to a similar survey of what then they did not have a specific term for, but I believe this book championed eventually our "Millennial" term. The survey asked GenX "in what way could you most contribute to History, society, your peers?" (I paraphrase), and GenX responded with "Art, Acting, Writing, Being a Celebrity" in preference over "Politics, Economics, Scholarship". The Millennials responded that it would be through Politics and Economics. Well, that has proven to be the case for of course, after three Generations of very busy Media, from Rock Start in the 50's, 60's, 70's and 80's, Movie Stars and Art Star...all from the older, print industry, the competition field was getting a bit crowded. Then, the digital revolution happened, the whole means of production and what it meant to be an artist collapsed. Interactivity is a far better form, especially for Individualists, and perhaps what my GenX was seeking to achieve insofar as we had been so influenced by the older generations of artists, writers and personalities. The other schema, which is more dubious, is an axial: communal vs. individual and the ideal vs. pragmatic. Here is how it supposed to play out: the GI generation was communal and pragmatic, the proceeding Silent Generation was idealistic and individualistic (...well, that seems to play into creating a Generation that consumes writers, artists and musicians. The great artists celebrated by the Baby Boomer were actually of the Silent Generation.) The Baby Boomer were communal and idealistic, which plays out in the Hippie/Commune (I dont mean that as a put down) or Christian/Conservative, and of course, GenX plays out as individualistic and pragmatic. Hence, each generation is formulated by early reactionaries, or a reactionary mindset...which is quite true because the Generational identity is formed in High School and early adulthood, one Identity, and the easiest way to do this is by Reactionarism...which of course, I saw viscerally in the Baby Boomers. The also formulated an axis of sexual identity, wherein, the definitions harden, there are roles and rules to play for each sex, then the rules loosen, the definitions are seen to limiting, and then of course, the pendulum swings again, away from a amorphous polysexuality, back to hard and fast roles models to aspire to. They dropped this schema's in "The Fourth Turning", a publication from 1997. In the Fourth Turning, they instead introduce again a cyclical idea of a High (the 50's), Awakening (60's and 70's), Unraveling (80's and 90's), and Crisis (these days...)which is based upon Historical events and intergenerational relationships. There are websites established for Strauss and Howe's thinking, as they have formed a more generalized ideology into which events of the day are framed. Its a refreshing contrast to the typical polarities of the Left and Right, which I think are a dying legacy of a Industrial Print culture. It is four generations per period, a generation being roughly 20 years. So, there is sometimes, more briefly, two generations really fighting it out in the polis: acting, voting, speaking in a sense of the world being the totality of their thinking (and things will be this way for ALL TIME), for maybe a decade, but then the three generation dynamic emerges, as the other generations are phased out in extreme old age (wherein really most of the generational identity is discarded due to enough experience) and childhood, who dont really factor in as voters. Which, we have now emerged into a three Generation fight between Idealists, pragmatist, Communalist (National or Local?) and individualists. The Nationists, the Baby Boomers and their Millennial kids, are now in the majority. Yet, Strauss and Howe did not see the divide (or maybe they did I don't remember...its been over 15 years since reading the tome) between the old paper and print world and processes in which the Baby Boom and a good part of my generation are bound in world view vs. the transition into a digital age which the Millennials now own. I mean, the Baby Boomers, now mostly in their sixties, may have adapted to digital civilization, but its another layer which they think is subservient to what they current own of the old era: Television Studios, Newspapers and Magazine. Which are all losing money right now. Furthermore, I can see in comments sections of the varying ideological publications: there are commentators who precisely state, in a perfectly ambiguous tone, the flaw and ideology at the same time. Its done on right or left, wherein, the New Context (digital media) now puts the older, seeming "master context of mass media", into a bound box, in which the new media can observe and of course just instantly feel, the same old tired rhetoric, the same old tired techniques. Digital Natives was also used to anticipate how the Millennials are going to act, but the digital media has created a larger context into which its natives can easily spot the lying and bullshit of an old media which depended on Authority. We depended on the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Time Magazine, to check its own facts. But they dont really do it, for, its easy to do it online. The New Transparency is an end to wasteful paper and print, which is vulnerability to "drive by media", and could suffer double faced politicians. For, in digital media we can go back...we dont have to video tape the story, or, go to the library to fact check. The old media, wasteful, inhibits an informed bloc of voters, and clearly indicates a divide in thinking, wherein, the paper and print Industrial consumption mode is fast dying, and the digital instant reference, instant comment, interactive mode, far superior...even more superior than the old Oral vs. Writing methods! In fact the digital mode bring back the Oral a bit. So, being 60 years old now is living on the brink of changes in the world far more drastic and comprehensive than Industrialism... Anyway, Strauss and Howe grope around with this, perhaps one ear tuned to the then nascent "Wired" magazine rhetoric, but they probably underestimate it. The Individualists are going to lose out, that is, my Genx cohorts are going to be marginalized on the new stage of digital media, as the digital revolution, which includes the curtailing of "consumerist engineering", in order to reduce carbonification of the globe. There is of course going to be a generational will, on the part of the Millennials, to push the digital era out of a myopia of social fragmentation of Individualism, into a most effective tool for National Will and human progress. In fact, they are already doing it, and the faster and better we enable it, and this will costs, the sooner and more powerful American will emerge, still in advance (we sold the world computers). GenX will suffer too, from a real division in History, in irrelevance, almost as much as the Baby Boomers. But one could imagine shooting all those standing in the way of this progress for the sake of the future. The "Mills" should have made for them a royal road to this Global, digital world. So, I see this happening, and Strauss and Howe did not so much see it happening back in the 90's do to the plastering of this schema onto the empirical. Next, Francis Fukuyama's "End of History". Or, Foucault's general critique of Enlightenment values. Clear out the old, bring in the new, I say.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Zach Wadzinski

    Strauss is probably on to something but I can’t quite place my finger on it. The premise of the book is that each generation has an overarching theme. This seems agreeable up to a certain point internally in ones nation. However once outside vectors are involved ie WWII and coronavirus, I can’t help but see certain parts of his theory ripped to shreds. Humans inherently are complex and certainly create dynamic social structures, but theres also uncertainty and unpredictability from outside force Strauss is probably on to something but I can’t quite place my finger on it. The premise of the book is that each generation has an overarching theme. This seems agreeable up to a certain point internally in ones nation. However once outside vectors are involved ie WWII and coronavirus, I can’t help but see certain parts of his theory ripped to shreds. Humans inherently are complex and certainly create dynamic social structures, but theres also uncertainty and unpredictability from outside forces from other nations/nature that can’t be accounted for. Yes, different generations most likely do have different ways of responding to different crises due to previous circumstances placed onto them from previous generations. Strauss does bring up the good point of influence from one generation to another wains and there is a gaping hole of influence that is gradually refilled by the incoming generation. Theories get dicey though when you start to attempt to profile the future based on past assumptions and categorizing. Humans love to simplify things by placing things into categories, the universe however, is an extremely random and complex place. The author does state that every response of every generation isn’t the same as the last by portraying responses/outcomes diagonally rather than linearly. I’d argue that rather than a straight diagonal line it’s more like a semi volatile stock graph. End note, things change and entropy is a bitch, but is the natural order of things. I would certainly add this to anyone’s mental model of the order of complex social interactions, but the value of this would mostly be small.

  22. 5 out of 5

    P Mc

    This book is one of those books that implanted itself in the back of the public's mind much like the idea that we only use ten percent of our brain. Sounds plausible but nothing really backing it up but damn it is a catchy idea. That is this book. The idea is that generations run on a four-stroke cycle. Idealist, reactive, civic, adaptive cycling around in four seasonal cycles that last about 80 years to a century. Spring thing early postwar with a flowering of new institutions and growth, Summ This book is one of those books that implanted itself in the back of the public's mind much like the idea that we only use ten percent of our brain. Sounds plausible but nothing really backing it up but damn it is a catchy idea. That is this book. The idea is that generations run on a four-stroke cycle. Idealist, reactive, civic, adaptive cycling around in four seasonal cycles that last about 80 years to a century. Spring thing early postwar with a flowering of new institutions and growth, Summer like the 1960s where there is a spiritual awakening by idealists, the 1980s and 1990s are fall lots of new liberties but institutions decaying and falling apart in growing chaos, Winter is a crisis and that has been the 2000s where the civic generation forges new institutions in response to the civic crisis. I dunno it is a nice story and like a catchy tune, it sticks. Like other catchy ideas, it sounds good but doesn't seem to be something to pin down or seems actionable but sounds good at dinner conversation. Still fun to think about.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jeffrey W.

    This is one of the most exceptional books I have read in my many decades of reading history and socioeconomic tomes. Amazingly, although it was written in the late 1980s, it accurately describes the social and economic trends that have taken place between its publication in 1992 and the current date, July 2020. It even warns of a crisis in or around 2020, which we are currently experiencing. It accurately describes the polarization of America that is taking place and gives a clear rationale for This is one of the most exceptional books I have read in my many decades of reading history and socioeconomic tomes. Amazingly, although it was written in the late 1980s, it accurately describes the social and economic trends that have taken place between its publication in 1992 and the current date, July 2020. It even warns of a crisis in or around 2020, which we are currently experiencing. It accurately describes the polarization of America that is taking place and gives a clear rationale for the causes. Better yet, it offers hope in that the basic thesis of the book is that these events are cyclical and repetitive and will pass.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Vivian

    Interesting theory. Mostly skimmed it. Pretty dry

  25. 4 out of 5

    Heather Denigan

    Even if one shouldn't swallow the authors' conclusions without careful chewing, there's plenty of good stuff here. Two main takeaways: the argument and the methodology. The first four chapters and Appendix A all contain great material. 1) Methodology: Strauss and Howe raise the question: What do we mean when we talk about "generations?" They point out that "generation" has no set definition and has been arbitrarily applied. It can mean 18 years or 40, depending on who you ask. It can mean everyon Even if one shouldn't swallow the authors' conclusions without careful chewing, there's plenty of good stuff here. Two main takeaways: the argument and the methodology. The first four chapters and Appendix A all contain great material. 1) Methodology: Strauss and Howe raise the question: What do we mean when we talk about "generations?" They point out that "generation" has no set definition and has been arbitrarily applied. It can mean 18 years or 40, depending on who you ask. It can mean everyone alive at given point in time or everyone born around a given point in time. Strauss and Howe argue against using straight horizontal or vertical definitions of generations. (It's not X or Y, it's graphed X,Y.) This means that they take into account both the national and the personal -- absent, deceased, or emotionally distant parents have a huge impact on their children and the effects last long past rising adulthood. The definitions of cohort and peer personality are also helpful. Strauss and Howe put history on a wave and argue that each generation will have different priorities. They offer hope in that the way things are now aren't the way they will always be. And if you're worried about a deficit of teachers or doctors or insert-pet-career-field-here, just wait a little bit and renewed interest will bubble up again. 2) Argument: That people move diagonally through time. People at different stages of life will react differently to events and to the generations before and after them. (Consider the 9/11 attacks and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq: I'm old enough to remember the event, but was not old enough at the time to understand their significance. Now my peers have reached the age where they are deploying to the war zones and returning with hurts that we may not yet fully understand. I *think* that this new crop of veterans is having to compete with veterans of past wars. The new crop is throwing itself into nonprofits and civic endeavors. The old guard is still holding marches and seeking recognition. I *think* -- that's the way it seems to me. 9/11 did not solidify Americans in the way that Pearl Harbor did.) While I'm not sure of the premise: that we can predict how future generations will act. We don't know how the next secular crisis or spiritual awakening will affect the nation's zeitgeist or shape its values and priorities. And we can divvy up generations by varying metrics. At any rate, the copyright on my edition is 1991. Over 20 years have passed since then. Pretty much everything that the authors have said about the Boomers still seems relevant. The authors sound hopeful for the millenials (even if their delineation of a millennial may differ from others). It's nice to see people rooting for the young folks.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Scot

    Well, that sucked. The overarching theory, that generations affect the society they live in, and the society affects the generations growing up in them, I can buy. Their specific 4-stroke generational theory, though? Not convincing at all. Early in the book, they make their case that what matters for a generation is birth year, not the parents of the generation. (they accompany this argument with a scientifically illiterate chart showing the spread of birth years from one generation to the next, i Well, that sucked. The overarching theory, that generations affect the society they live in, and the society affects the generations growing up in them, I can buy. Their specific 4-stroke generational theory, though? Not convincing at all. Early in the book, they make their case that what matters for a generation is birth year, not the parents of the generation. (they accompany this argument with a scientifically illiterate chart showing the spread of birth years from one generation to the next, in which the curves get smaller and smaller, implying a reduced population with each passing generation. Which is wrong, and bullshit, and the first big sign that this whole exercise is pointless. But I digress). So that's their main thesis, and then repeatedly through the rest of the book they state that the "first wave" of a generation is often very different from the "last wave" of that generation. If they're so different, why are they grouped together? And the "first wave" of one generation is often very similar to the "last wave" of the proceeding generation, and both groups usually have arenas from the same generation, completely undercutting the argument that the generation of the parents doesnt matter. The bulk of the book is an exercise in bible-code-esque finding patterns that don't actually exist, combined with astrology-esque vague predictions that can be declared correct no matter what happens, with a massive dose of making caricatures of the tone of a generation, and a huge amount of ignoring inconvenient facts. The generation born from 1960-1980 shows a lot of what is wrong with this book. they name this generation the "13ers". First off, that's an absolutely terrible name. And second, this generation is actually the 17th generation they talk about, not the 13th. So what happened is they came up with this grand theory of a 4-stroke generational cycle, then realized that even with all the hand-waving they could manage, the cycle only fit for for 2 of the 3 groups of generations they identified. Even stacking the deck, their theory didn't fit the data. So they went back and added on an earlier cycle (so far back in time that they could make any theory fit by judicious selection of the "facts" to present, so they could have a slightly-more-convincing (but not really convincing at all) 3 out of 4 success rate, instead of 2 out of 3. But then they were too lazy to go back and get rid of the stupid "13er" generation name, so they kept it as a big flashing sign of just how lame their argument is.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Dawn Klinge

    This book was written in 1991 and its predictions about the future (which are now our present) are remarkably accurate. I devoured this book, and couldn't put it down for the few days that it took me to read. It explains so much about human behavior and history by picking up on repeating generational patterns. I highly recommend it. This book was written in 1991 and its predictions about the future (which are now our present) are remarkably accurate. I devoured this book, and couldn't put it down for the few days that it took me to read. It explains so much about human behavior and history by picking up on repeating generational patterns. I highly recommend it.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Ben Smith

    If you want to understand the tumult the US is going through now, read this. Written in 1990 and said by to Trump advisor, Bannon, to be one of the most important books out there; this book follows every generation in America since the 1530's and how they impact history and the Generations before and after them. Not an easy read, but a must read for understand the similarities between the change of the Revolution, Andrew Jackson, FDR, and now the 2020's. If you want to understand the tumult the US is going through now, read this. Written in 1990 and said by to Trump advisor, Bannon, to be one of the most important books out there; this book follows every generation in America since the 1530's and how they impact history and the Generations before and after them. Not an easy read, but a must read for understand the similarities between the change of the Revolution, Andrew Jackson, FDR, and now the 2020's.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Bobby J. Hill Jr.

    This book offers great insight into the generations of America and how they were shaped. Why they did the things they did. It also puts forth a radical theory of a cyclical pattern that American generations generally follow. Overall a very good, informative read.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Johnny

    Everything in cycles.....poorly supported and generalistic examples pad a pretty fundamentally interesting read. Unfortunate that they cherry picked examples to fit their model rather take a truly objective look at generations. This book could've been GREAT, but as it stands it's merely GOOD. Everything in cycles.....poorly supported and generalistic examples pad a pretty fundamentally interesting read. Unfortunate that they cherry picked examples to fit their model rather take a truly objective look at generations. This book could've been GREAT, but as it stands it's merely GOOD.

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