Top critical review
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Breathlessly hyped but not much meat
on October 7, 2012
The heart of this book is a survey of 1,000 young Americans born between 1990 and 1995. Few details are given on how the survey was conducted, it appears to have been one of those Internet pop-up or email invitations that promise some small-value discount or coupon for filling it out. There are obvious problems with this methodology, which are compounded by poor question design.
For example, to gauge opinions on healthcare the survey asks whether or not the respondent agrees with the statement, "The government should support healthcare for all people." Does this mean nationalized healthcare? Or just that the government does not oppose healthcare for all people? Does support mean "pay for" or merely "assist"? Does "healthcare" mean services essential to life or does it include elective and minor procedures? Does "all people" mean all citizens, anyone in the US or anyone in the world? And does this refer only to the US federal government or all levels of government all over the world?
The book is fact-challenged. It claims that people born between 1990 and 1995 represent 95% of all college students. 40% is more like it, if we include everyone enrolled in a post-secondary educational institution in the US (and if you take out foreign citizens, who apparently are not part of this survey, it would be more like one third). If you restrict it to full-time students of four-year undergraduate universities, the proportion rises, but not to anything near 95%. The book lists the people who have "dominated the news during their [people born between 1990 and 1995] lives": Paris Hilton, Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan, Snooki, Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson. I can't think of one genuine news story in which any of those people were involved, they certainly didn't "dominate the news" over the last 22 years. Every few pages you run across something like this.
I don't see much value in this book.