Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Talkin' 'bout Their Generations

Neil Howe and William Strauss have made a cottage industry of identifying the distinguishable generations in English and American history. According to them, my Revolutionary War ancestor Moses Dunham was of the Republican Generation, while his son Lemuel was of the Compromise Generation: "Compliantly coming of age, [he] offered a new erudition, expertise, and romantic sensibility to [his] heroic elders' 'Age of Improvement.'" And I thought he was just a poor farmer!

The official website has their current list of generations, from the Arthurian to the Millennial. See Wikipedia for even more generational labels.


Charles Barkley and Jodie Foster are representative of my generation in the same way that Martin Luther King, Jr. and Sandra Day O'Connor are representative of my grandparents' generation? And here I'd been blaming my parents for everything that was wrong in the world.


The two generations actually have a lot in common. MLK was assassinated, and Jodie Foster almost got a president assassinated. O'Connor sat on the Federal bench, and Barkley was often seen sitting on the bench during his career. We slackers have nothing to be ashamed of.

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