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Generations: The History of America's Future, 1584 to 2069 (1991)

por Neil Howe, William Strauss

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551933,771 (4.05)15
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.… (mais)
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Mostrando 1-5 de 8 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
Amazingly pretty accurate 18 years later. ( )
  sunshine608 | Feb 2, 2021 |
Reread in 2017 to see if the future is panning out as predicted. Many predictions seem right on although I don't see Millennials as civic minded but rather narcissistic.
Maybe they just haven't been galvanized by purpose yet. ( )
1 vote snash | Mar 21, 2017 |
I read this book over twenty years ago and it made such a impression on me, I talk about its premise regularly and felt the need to re-read, given today's political climate. The authors William Strauss and Neil Howe do a masterful job of marshaling their data to support their theory that history can be looked at as a succession of generational biographies beginning in 1584 and encompassing everyone through the current Millennials. Each of these generations belong to one of four types that repeat sequentially within the normal human lifespan and have distinct personalities. The book was published in 1991--the year my daughter was born--and I've watched in fascination as the situations Strauss and Howe predicted for the past 26 years have come to pass. They also predict a major national crisis on about 2020. So no, I'm not looking forward to the next four years. Highly recommended. ( )
  MarysGirl | Mar 11, 2017 |
I fund Part II, where the authors describe and analyze the nature, style and tendencies of every American generation from the first Puritans through the early 1990s, to be highly thought-provoking. The rest of the book is tedious in the extreme. ( )
  ChrisNewton | Mar 18, 2016 |
There are several aspects of this book to review. Writing style: a bit dry. This is forgivable: the authors are laying out a hypothesis that covers almost 500 years of American history, and they want to make sure you've got all their evidence. I figure the book could've been tightened up, but I guess it's better they erred on the side of too much explanation rather than not enough.

The generational theory: plausible and fascinating. The authors summarize the history of 14 generations of Americans, showing how each generation fits into a cycle of four types and how these types interact. At the same time, they detail how American history alternates between spiritual awakenings and crises that usually hit at predictable intervals. It takes a while to get through this part of the book, but it's interesting to see the patterns develop.

The predictions: some hits, some misses. By now, 17 years after first publication, there's been time to see if the authors' theories would hold up. They've been doing better at cultural trends rather than events. I don't place the "alienating event" they thought would hit in the 1990s, but they did a fine job of describing the culture of helicopter parents years before that became a catchphrase. Still, it's hard to watch the economy crash, hear about environmental problems settling in, catch the news on the latest terrorist attack, and not think of their predicted Crisis of 2020, more or less on schedule.

The book will take time to get through (and you could skim parts of it), but there are worse ways to spend your free time. ( )
2 vote Silvernfire | Nov 30, 2008 |
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To our grandparents and grandchildren, whose lives will touch parts of four centuries.
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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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973 — History and Geography North America United States

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