Broadway Books published William Strauss and Neil Howe's The Fourth Turning: An American Prophecy in January and the reaction to the book and its accompanying Web site has been remarkable. In the book the authors locate a series of historic cycles, or "turnings," in American history that they claim characterize and predict socio-cultural patterns among U.S. generational age groups. Americans, the authors claim, are optimistic about their own lives but pessimistic about the country's future. They seem to have struck a national nerve. The Web site has been overwhelmed with traffic, and Broadway Books' Debbie Steir told PW that the book "triggered a volcanic outpouring of commentary... a virtual town hall meeting on our nation's future," logging 42,000 page views on one day alone and nearly 300,000 page views after three weeks. The site features discussion forums and the book's authors contribute a monthly column; plus, there are summaries of the book's themes, excerpts, RealAudio clips and much more.
Volume 243 Issue 12 03/24/1997