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The Fourth Turning: An American Prophecy - What the Cycles of History Tell Us About America's Next Rendezvous with Destiny Paperback – December 29, 1997
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From Library Journal
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Howe and Strauss have amazingly taken the most recent 20th century generations (GI, Silent, Boomer, Xer, and Millennial) and found corresponding generations for the last few hundred years. From this, they've developed a convincing rubric of generational archetypes-GIs and Millennials are the "Hero," Silents are the "Artist," Boomers are the "Prophet," and Xers are the "Nomad." Moreover, they've revisited the millennia old theory that time moves through seasons in a cyclical pattern, one that corresponds with the seasons of the year. The post-WWII era was our "High" or spring; the Consciousness Revolution was our "Awakening" or summer; the 80's and 90's was our "Unraveling" or fall; and we're currently headed for our "Crisis" or winter. They chose to label the seasons "turnings" and the time encompassing the four turnings as the "saecula," a label used by the ancients that roughly corresponds to a century.
With an amazing attention to detail, a scholarly eye to history, and a wonderfully readable writing style, Howe and Strauss show the interplay of the generational archetypes and the turnings.Read more ›
The theory is basically that history goes through four types of turnings: a conservative High, in which institutions are stable after the success of a major war (the Era of Good Feelings, the Victorian Era, the '50s), a spiritual Awakening in which young people scrap convention for religious discovery (Ben Franklin's Great Awakening, the Transcendental Awakening, the turn-of-the-century Muckrake reform era, the '60s), a wild Unravelling (the colorful Gold Rush, the roaring twenties, and the current era that began about 1984), and a fourth turning -- or Crisis (the Revolutionary War, the Civil War and the Great Depression and World War II were the last three examples). A catalyst will spark the Fourth Turning that will become around 2005. These turnings change when each generation enters a new phase of life.
After you read this book, it's one of those books that completely transforms your mode of thinking. Both the present and the prophesied future are explained by means of generations -- fit into four different types ("archetypes") that shift along with the turnings. The authors identify the Lost Generation (born 1883-1900), the G.I. Generation (born 1901-1924), the Silent Generation (born 1925-1942), the Baby Boomers (born 1943-1960), the 13th Generation (born 1961-1981) and the Millennial Generation (born since 1982). They explain how these generations relate to those throughout history, and date the historical generations born all the way back to 1433.Read more ›
Strauss and Howe apparently have devoted their lives to the study of history and the development of generations in societies. The book is loaded, and I mean, loaded with historical references, some of which I wasn't familiar with until now. By looking at these events, and more importantly, looking at the people that went along with those events, Strauss and Howe noticed some recurring patterns in generations over the centuries. Apply this pattern to our country, and to our future, they have correctly predicted that we are headed for a "Fourth Turning", a time of great criss and peril.
Normally, I shun books that people claim to have "visions of the future" involved with them. They are frequently erroneous and based on the whims of the author. However, "The Fourth Turning" is different. By basing their theories of the future on past events, they offer support and credence to their thoughts. The effect is both enlightening and chilling, but it is one that we simply cannot ignore.
I found every single page of their book fascinating as a study or recent history and future history. Also, I personally found self-enlightenment in reading about the generation in which I belong, the long lost "Gen X" crowd, or the title they label it, "13th".Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The book offers one a view of history which has been forgotten by the vast majority of individualsPublished 3 days ago by John Beirne
This is an excellent book for all generations to read. A great historical framework from the Bible through western history. Lacking I eastern references.Published 9 days ago by Servando Patlan
A little heavy reading at times but a great observation on the cycles of life and generations.Published 23 days ago by Amazon Customer
The generation in which I live and the forces at work that make us who we are.Published 25 days ago by Avery Harvill
Wow. The future predicted? I read this book in July 2016. It was written in the late 90's. They make a lot of generalizations about what would occur leading up to 2026. Read morePublished 28 days ago by Silence Do Good
A revelatory re-interpretation of American history and what it predicts for the near and intermediate future.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
Book was readable but in rough shape. It had the previuos owners name and phone# written in large letters across the front and was dirtyPublished 1 month ago by George Tarafa
Dated but interesting history. My daughter disagrees as to her classification, by the way.Published 1 month ago by haoleArt (Keaau, HI USA)
Loved the theories presented in this book! The writing was terribly academic and dry, making it extremely difficult to read. Read morePublished 1 month ago by H. Head