The Baby Boomers, born between 1946 and 1964, form the single largest demographic spike in American history. Never before or since have birth rates shot up and remained so high so long, with some obvious results: when the Boomers were kids, American cultu
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Boomer Nation will for the first time offer an
incisive look into this generation that has redefined
America's culture in so many ways, from women's rights and
civil rights to religion and politics. Steve Gillon combines
firsthand reporting of the lives of six Boomers and their
families with a broad look at postwar American history in a
fascinating mix of biography and history. His characters,
like America itself, reflect a variety of heritages: rich
and poor, black and white, immigrant and native born. Their
lives take very different paths, yet are shaped by key
events and trends in similar ways. They put a human face on
the Boomer generation, showing what it means to grow up amid
widespread prosperity, with an explosion of democratic
autonomy that led to great upheavals but also a renewal from
below of our churches, industries, and even the armed
The same generation dismissed as pampered
and selfish has led a revival of religion in America; the
same generation that unleashed the women's movement has also
shifted our politics into its most market-oriented,
anti-governmental era since Woodrow Wilson. Gillon draws
many lessons from this "generational history" -- above all,
that the Boomers have transformed America from the security-
and authority-seeking culture of their parents to the
autonomy- and freedom-rich world of today.
"greatest generation" was young and not yet at war, it was
widely derided as selfish and spoiled. Only in hindsight,
long after the sacrifices of World War II, did it gain its
sterling reputation. Today, as Boomer America rises to the
challenges of the war on terror, we may be on the cusp of a
reevaluation of the generation of Presidents Bush and
Clinton. That generation has helped make America the
richest, strongest nation on the planet, and as Gillon's
book proves, it has had more influence on the rest of us
than any other group.
Boomer Nation is an
eye-opening reinterpretation of the past six decades.
About the Author
Steve Gillon has taught at both Yale University
and Oxford University and is currently a professor of
history at the University of Oklahoma. He is also the
Resident Historian of the History Channel, where he hosts a
Sunday morning show, HistoryCenter, and appears in
numerous specials, including "History vs. Hollywood." He is
the author of many books and articles about modern American
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