The authors have four generational groups that have cycled through over and over again since the Puritans first came to America: Two dominant groups (Boomers and Millennials, and what's left of the G.I. generation) alternate with two more passive groups (Silent and Gen X, and whatever today's babies will be called) over and over again. I've been telling Chad for years that Gen Xers have a lot in common with Silents, but didn't have any reason to believe that I was right until now. In the US, we have at least six generations living: Lost, born before 1900 (there may be one or two of them left); G.I., born from 1901-1924; Silent, born from 1925-1942; Boomers, born from 1943-1960; Gen X, born from 1961-1981; Millennials, born from 1982 until... well, somewhere around 2001. I have a theory that eventually that date will be moved back so that only those who can remember 9/11 are included, and kids born in the late 90s and up until now will be the as-yet-unnamed generation (Wikipedia says Gen Z). But that's not in the book, and it's just my personal speculation.
I picked up this book because I find generational traits and differences fascinating. And so far, it's been worth every consultation of the dictionary to read what these gentlemen have to say about the way generations cycle in America. It was written in 1990, so naturally I'd love to see an update to include the past 20 years. They do have another book published in 1997 that I haven't read yet. Maybe that will be next.
What generation are you in (if you're American)? If you aren't American, does your culture have generational divisions like we tend to do? What's a trait of your generation?