The Greater Generation
In Defense of the Baby Boom Legacy
By Leonard Steinhorn
(Thomas Dunne Books, Hardcover, 9780312326401, 336pp.)
Publication Date: January 10, 2006
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
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The Greatest Generation gets credit for winning World War II and braving the Depression. But the Baby Boomers? All they get credit for is knowing how to order a tall skim double latte. What really is the true legacy of the Boomers?
Summoning the amazing sea changes they've made in American culture, this controversial book recasts the much-maligned Boomers as a Greater Generation with a lasting legacy of tolerance and equality for all.
Farewell, Donna Reed: "For women, the Baby Boom era has been one of breathtaking change--in a single generation American women have effected one of the greatest social metamorphoses in recorded history. What women are able to do today would have been unimaginable four or five decades ago, at best the stuff of utopian fantasy or science fiction."
Not Only Women: "The egalitarian norms of the Baby Boom have deeply changed men and will continue to do so for generations to come."
Diversity as a Moral Value: For too long, America denied blacks, gays, and other minorities their dignity and rights, but in the Boomer era we have enlarged the melting pot to include those once scorned and excluded. Boomers have led a culture war "to upend the rigid social structure of the Fifties and challenge centuries of entrenched norms and attitudes about race, ethnicity, religion, and sexuality."
The Greening of America: Under Boomers, environmental protection has become a powerful new norm in American society. No longer do we tolerate toxic run-offs and progress at any cost.
A Freer, More Open Society: Personal freedom, tolerance, openness, transparency, and equality--these are the values of the Baby Boom era, and we live them daily at home, work, school, and in our many relationships. The old ways--the prejudice, narrowmindedness, restrictive sex roles, smoke-filled rooms, double standards, rigid hierarchies--are going, going, gone thanks to Baby Boomers.
The media have it wrong: You don't need to fight a war to be a great generation. America today is far more open, inclusive, and equal than at any time in our history, and Boomers are the foot soldiers who made it happen. The Greater Generation tells their remarkable story. "The Greater Generation is a timely, passionate defense of the Baby Boom generation. . . . Leonard Steinhorn reminds us of the essential liberal spirit that defined the Boomers and how they changed our country for the better. In doing so, he illuminates the critical issues that continue to challenge them and their children." --Joe Conason, bestselling author of Big Lies and The Hunting of the President
"The Baby Boom generation changed the heart and soul of America. Leonard Steinhorn's The Greater Generation shows us how much better off we all are as a result." --Richard Florida, author of The Rise of the Creative Class
"Steinhorn has written a smart and inspirational book that will be a boost to all Boomers, and will show their children why Mom and Dad know best." --Iris Krasnow, author of Surrendering to Marriage
"In contrast to their parents' idealized standing as the 'greatest generation,' Boomers have been gamely diminished as the 'worst generation.' And this book shouts ENOUGH!" --Brent Green, author of Marketing to Leading-Edge Baby Boomers
Leonard Steinhorn is a professor of communication at American University, where he teaches politics, media, and culture. He has written for major media, including The Washington Post, Baltimore Sun, International Herald Tribune, Salon.com, and History News Network, and he appears frequently on broadcast news shows. He is a former political speechwriter and is coauthor of By the Color of Our Skin, a critically acclaimed book on race relations.