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Millennials Rising: The Next Great Generation [Paperback]

Neil Howe , William Strauss , R.J. Matson
2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Building on the concepts they first developed in Generations and 13th Gen, Neil Howe and William Strauss now take on Generation Y, or, as they call them, the Millennials. Unlike their rather distressing portrait of the more reactive Generation X (the 13th Gen), or the negative stereotypes that abound about today's kids, this is all good news. According to Howe and Strauss, this group is poised to become the next great generation, one that will provide a more positive, group-oriented, can-do ethos. Huge in size as well as future impact, they're making a sharp break from Gen-X trends and a direct reversal of boomer youth behavior. Why? Because, as a nation, we've devoted more concern and attention their way than to any generation in, well, generations.

Using their trademark paradigm, which places each generation as part of a larger historical cycle with four generations to a cycle, the authors not only describe these kids as they are now (as the first year sets off for college, the last yet to be born) but launch into projections for the future. A sampling of their potential influence in this decade: pop music will become more melodic and singable and sitcoms more melodramatic and wholesome; there will be a new emphasis on manners, modesty, and old-fashioned gender courtesies; and they'll resolve the long-standing debates about substance abuse. "They will rebel against the culture by cleaning it up, rebel against political cynicism by touting trust, rebel against individualism by stressing teamwork, rebel against adult pessimism by being upbeat, and rebel against social ennui by actually going out and getting a few things done." Scanning the future further, this hero generation will have to confront some major crises. But, for a group that has never known war or famine, will it be an opportunity or a calamity? Much of Millennials Rising is familiar territory rehashed, and the profiles and prophecies just too general. But it's hard to resist this hopeful vision for our children and the future. --Lesley Reed

From Publishers Weekly

The phrase "kids these days" is infused with new meaning in this look at the generation born between 1982 and 2000. Arguing against the conventional wisdom that junior high and high school kids are disrespectful, violent and alienated, Howe and Strauss (Generations; 13th Gen) demonstrate that the children of boomers and of older members of Generation X are actually harder workers and better community builders than any generation since the G.I.s'. "Millennials," the authors argue, are different from Gen-Xers: they have grown up in a multicultural country and have never known a recession; they are wanted children (as the increase in both birth control and fertility drugs demonstrate); and protected by an unprecedented number of child-centered laws. Since birth, they have been spurred to achievement in the home, by yuppie parents, and at school, by standardized tests and "zero tolerance" disciplinary measures. The authors show how easily Millennials have swallowed all the efforts on their behalf. School uniforms, as well as uniform-like Gap and Abercrombie & Fitch clothing, are popular. Teen sex is less frequent, and virginity seems to be a cool new trend. Howe and Strauss run into a bit of trouble when they insist that each generation corrects the mistakes of the previous one. They also attempt to link Millennials to the G.I. generation, suggesting that "hero generations" come in cycles. Despite these stabs at pop sociology, this well-substantiated demographic and cultural overview of the teen landscape is intriguing and highly amusing. Charts, graphs, cartoons. (Sept.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

The Millennials, the generation "born in or after 1982--the 'Babies on Board' of the early Reagan years"--will be a force to reckon with in the twenty-first century, according to the authors. More numerous and culturally diverse than their forefathers, this generation will also be better educated and more affluent. Using a wealth of marketing reports, statistics, graphs, and testimonials, the authors convincingly argue that the millennials are returning to conservative family values, emphasizing cooperation rather than creativity, and showing a new respect for rules. The book explores the roots of this turnaround generation, who they are now, and where they are headed. Although some of the statistics seem to be bent slightly to conform to the trends, the very readable narrative and thorough analysis of popular culture will prompt serious discussion among old and young. Candace Smith
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

From the Inside Flap

By the authors of the bestselling 13th Gen, the first in-depth examination of the Millennials--the generation born after 1982.

"Over the next decade, the Millennial Generation will entirely recast the image of youth from downbeat and alientated to upbeat and engaged--with potentially seismic consequences for America." --from Millennials Rising

In this remarkable account, certain to stir the interest of educators, counselors, parents, and people in all types of business as well as young people themselves, Neil Howe and William Strauss introduce the nation to a powerful new generation: the Millennials. They will also explain:

Why today's teens are smart, well-behaved, and optimisitc, and why you won't hear older people say that.

Why they get along so well with their Boomer and Xer parents.

Why Millennial collegians will bring a new youth revolution to America's campuses.

Why names like "Generation Y" and "Echo Boom" just don't work for today's kids.

Having looked at oceans of data, taken their own polls, and talked to hundreds of kids, parents, and teachers, Howe and Strauss explain how Millennials are turning out to be so dramatically different from Xers and boomers and how, in time, they will become the next great generation.

About the Author

Neil Howe and William Strauss are the authors of Generations, 13th Gen, and The Fourth Turning.  They live in McLean, Virginia.
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