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I admit it. I was being a chuckle-head when I told my nephew, a twenty-something, "Ah, you Millennials!" Then he shoots back with, "What is that? That's just a scientific construct." I was blown away. How to answer? I mean, of course there are differences; it's not just about being different ages, right? It's not just about the fact that I grew up with a rotary phone and he uses a cell phone, right?
I really, really wish I had listened to "The Next America," by Paul Taylor before that, instead of leaving the evening, seething in my head: Listen, ya unemployed, Brown-educated, saddled-in-student-loan-debt, young pup (I'm a Gen X-er, but I seethe like the most petulant of the petulant). Perhaps we could've had an intelligent conversation about what it meant to him, growing up in his generation, living amongst so many other generations, that generations are given names, not because they're constructs/are generic, but because they have general personalities all their own.
This book delves into similarities and differences of all the generations, not just Boomers and Millennials, to show how we've grown and become ourselves as a nation.
There are a lot of stats here, A LOT of stats, but my GOD, are they interesting. What older generations find inconceivable, newer generations accept with open arms. There are questions of racial equality, acceptance of homosexuality, do ya really, really wanna live forever, do you think America's the GREATEST nation on earth, should have an activist government, how important is religion to you?
And, ah, the Digital Age? Those Millennials who will talk to you/each other but will keep their eyes on their cell phones lest they miss something. (And that, I WILL hand to my nephew, he has an oooooold cell phone and he rarely texts!)
Another thing that makes this book so fascinating, is that other countries are studied and weighed. So when America's aging crisis is considered, we get a view of China's One Child Policy (One child for two aging parents, for four aging grandparents), and Japan's (there's a Japanese word for growing old and dying alone). Can the Millennials take care of all the Boomers? Do the Boomers have faith that they'll be taken care of? (And I was TOTALLY disheartened to hear that Social Security would be pretty much kaput by the time I turned 67... wah...)
The narration is perfectly engaging, but, as plenty of it is statistics, which can make it feel like it goes on and on, I suggest listening to it at x1.25 speed; you don't miss a thing, and you skip out on the ponderous pauses.
Great, eye-opening book.
And I do love that git of a nephew o' mine...!
9 of 10 people found this review helpful
I love statistics and regular reports from the Pew Research Center. This book combines recent Pew reports into a well written story of the current state of our nation. It is an important read for anyone interested where we have been, where we are now, and where we might be headed.