Millennials Rising: The Next Great Generation

Neil Howe, Author, William Strauss, Author, R. J. Matson, Illustrator Vintage Books USA $16.95 (432p) ISBN 978-0-375-70719-3
The phrase ""kids these days"" is infused with new meaning in this look at the generation born between 1982 and 2000. Arguing against the conventional wisdom that junior high and high school kids are disrespectful, violent and alienated, Howe and Strauss (Generations; 13th Gen) demonstrate that the children of boomers and of older members of Generation X are actually harder workers and better community builders than any generation since the G.I.s'. ""Millennials,"" the authors argue, are different from Gen-Xers: they have grown up in a multicultural country and have never known a recession; they are wanted children (as the increase in both birth control and fertility drugs demonstrate); and protected by an unprecedented number of child-centered laws. Since birth, they have been spurred to achievement in the home, by yuppie parents, and at school, by standardized tests and ""zero tolerance"" disciplinary measures. The authors show how easily Millennials have swallowed all the efforts on their behalf. School uniforms, as well as uniform-like Gap and Abercrombie & Fitch clothing, are popular. Teen sex is less frequent, and virginity seems to be a cool new trend. Howe and Strauss run into a bit of trouble when they insist that each generation corrects the mistakes of the previous one. They also attempt to link Millennials to the G.I. generation, suggesting that ""hero generations"" come in cycles. Despite these stabs at pop sociology, this well-substantiated demographic and cultural overview of the teen landscape is intriguing and highly amusing. Charts, graphs, cartoons. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/04/2000
Release date: 09/01/2000
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