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Generations: The History of America's Future, 1584 to 2069 Paperback – September 30, 1992
"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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From Publishers Weekly
Ex-Capitol Hill aides Strauss and Howe analyze American history according to a convoluted theory of generational cycles, concocting a chronicle that often seems as woolly as a newspaper horoscope.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From the Back Cover
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 every-one 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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It is from this position that I was interested in the Generations book however I really was only interested in the most recent generations. However, I started the book and read it cover to cover and recommend others do the same as there is so much valuable information on how the "pieces" of this "puzzle" fit together. We have always heard the premise that "history repeats itself". The book shows this in detail. The major portion of the text gives a description of each generation as identified in the United States by the authors. I found the descriptions engaging. Have you ever heard the opinion that this "young" generation is lazy, dumber than the one before, or more troublesome? As it turns out, this situation is repeated throughout our history. What is important to generations is that these cycles will modify the views and ideals as new generations emerge.
My goal was to learn about the differences and similarities between generations to better mold my educational transfer to students of another generation than I am in. The book was excellent in this respect. But there was more! Predicting the future! I did not hold much hope that this was a solid predictor of the future. If it was, then why would this information not be a required in all historic educational situations? So reading this section I had a lot of reservation. However, after digesting the whole book, this prediction process was not as impossible as it may seem. Clearly the book does not predict specific events but does identify general directions that could result. What I found interesting is that I'm reading this book in 2012. It was released in 1990. 22 years have passed since that release. The text identified events that may happen and more importantly, how that generation will react to those events. It was a little unnerving how close some of the predictions were in light of the 22 year span. It's a great book and exceeded my hopes.