Can’t Even: How Millennials Became the Burnout Generation

Anne Helen Petersen. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $26 (288p) ISBN 978-0-358-31507-0
BuzzFeed writer Peterson (Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud) explores how low-paying jobs, overstimulation, and unattainable expectations have contributed to millennial malaise in this trenchant and well-researched account. Young people who once received participation trophies now seek “cool” jobs, Petersen writes, only to fall into the “trap” of long hours and inadequate pay. Though older generations mischaracterize America’s largest demographic group as lazy and selfish, millennials are actually working multiple jobs to pay bills in the modern gig economy as they watch the American dream slip away, Petersen contends. She weaves together personal reflections, profiles of other millennials, and a plethora of demographic information to addresses issues such as parenting, social media, college debt, and health care. Though she recommends finding “solace” in hobbies and notes that one family reduced their stress by moving from the East Coast to Idaho, Petersen is more focused on bluntly describing her generation’s many obstacles than offering solutions to burnout. By turns exasperated, indignant, and empathetic, she supports her claims with strong evidence and calls on millennials to be a force for widespread social change. The result is an incisive portrait of a generation primed for revolt. (Sept.)
Reviewed on : 06/25/2020
Release date: 09/22/2020
Genre: Nonfiction
Book - 978-0-358-31659-6
MP3 CD - 978-1-7135-8692-0
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