From Publishers Weekly
In their 2000 book, Millennials Rising
, Neil Howe and William Straus argued that children born after 1982 will grow up to become America's next Greatest Generation—filled with a sense of optimism and civic duty—but according to San Diego State psychology professor Twenge, such predictions are wishful thinking. Lumping together Gen-X and Y under the moniker "GenMe," Twenge argues that those born after 1970 are more self-centered, more disrespectful of authority and more depressed than ever before. When the United States started the war in Iraq, she points out, military enlistments went down, not up. (Born in 1971, Twenge herself is at the edge of the Me Generation.) Her book is livened with analysis of films, magazines and TV shows, and with anecdotal stories from her life and others'. The real basis of her argument, however, lies in her 14 years of research comparing the results of personality tests given to boomers when they were under 30 and those given to GenMe-ers today. Though Twenge's opinionated asides may occasionally set Gen-X and -Yers' teeth on edge, many of her findings are fascinating. And her call to "ditch the self-esteem movement" in favor of education programs that encourage empathy and real accomplishment could spare some Me-ers from the depression that often occurs when they hit the realities of today's increasingly competitive workplace. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
A new book tackles the 18-to-35-year-old generation's problems--those they face and those they create.Twenge's book is comprehensive and scholarly, filled with statistics and thoughtful observations about the group she's dubbed Generation Me
. These young people were raised with the idea of self-esteem being more important than achievement, which has caused them to place the self above all else. Such beliefs also have created a generation of young people who believe every dream is attainable but who aren't prepared to deal with discovering it isn't so. Twenge notes that today's young parents are especially lenient with their children and reluctant to discipline them, suggesting that perhaps the next generation will be even worse off. Twenge believes Generation Me would benefit from a heavy dose of realism. Accessible and a must-read for the generation they address. Kristine HuntleyCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved