Previous Books by Wil iam Strauss and Neil Howe
13TH GEN! ABORT, RETRY, IGNORE, FAIL?
GENERATIONS: THE HISTORY OF AMERICA'S FUTURE
Also by Neil Howe (coauthored with Peter G. Peterson)
ON BORROWED TIME: HOW THE GROWTH IN
ENTITLEMENT SPENDING THREATENS AMERICA'S FUTURE (1988)
Also by Wil iam Strauss (coauthored with Lawrence Baskir)
CHANCE AND CIRCUMSTANCE: THE DRAFT, THE WAR,
AND THE VIETNAM GENERATION (1978)
To Janie and Simona, who share our time
And to Eric, Giorgia, Melanie, Nathaniel, Rebecca, and Victoria,
who, God wil ing, wil share a time beyond
That which hath been is now;
and that which is to be hath already been;
and God requireth that which is past.
— Ecclesiastes 3.15
1. Winter Comes Again
Part One. Seasons
2. Seasons of Time
Part Two. Turnings
Part Three. Preparations
Winter Comes Again
AMERICA FEELS LIKE IT'S UNRAVELING.
Though we live in an era of relative peace and comfort, we have settled into a mood of pessimism about the long-term future, fearful that our superpower nation is somehow rotting from within.
Neither an epic victory over Communism nor an extended upswing of the business cycle can buoy our public spirit. The Cold War and New Deal struggles are plainly over, but we are of no mind to bask in their successes. The America of today feels worse, in its fundamentals, than the one many of us remember from youth, a society presided over by those of supposedly lesser consciousness. Wherever we look, from L.A. to D.C., from Oklahoma City to Sun City, we see paths to a foreboding future. We yearn for civic character but satisfy ourselves with symbolic gestures and celebrity circuses. We perceive no greatness in our leaders, a new meanness in ourselves. Small wonder that each new election brings a new jolt, its aftermath a new disappointment.