Jon’s Open call on books #1

I don’t tend to reread books.

Most would probably choose fiction. I’m going to start with nonfiction.

I choose Generations (Strauss & Howe) because it changed the way I understand history and the differences between generations. One of the biggest ideas I got out of it is that we shouldn’t expect our lives to resemble those of our parents when we get to their age because what our lives look like at any given age is not determined by the age nearly as much as by the nature of us. What 65 (which I’ll be in a week) looks like for Baby Boomers is different from what it looks like for previous – or subsequent – generations.

The overall point of the book is that each generation attempts to correct what it didn’t like about the previous one and that correction introduces factors that the next generation wants to change. This dynamic coupled with external circumstances drives history. They identify four types of generations, one of which can miss a cycle. How well this model works is startling.