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Applying Generational Theory to History and Current Events

Since historians William Strauss and Neil Howe collaborated to produce what is commonly known as generational theory back in the 1990s, their ideas have generated a significant and worldwide following. Over the last several years, many of Strauss and Howe’s most important predictions about what America would experience in the 2020s have come to pass, culminating in the bitter divides and escalating tensions we see all around us today. Normally, a set of ideas that proves as prescient as theirs would be recognized, gather genuine mainstream acceptance, and bring transformation of the field of study to which the ideas attach. Instead, the mainstream has continued to ignore and dismiss generational theory and its insights, preferring instead to stick to narratives which confirm pre-approved mainstream worldviews.

While I am not a professional historian, I have followed conversations about generational theory (and in particular about Strauss and Howe's signature work, The Fourth Turning ) long enough and deeply enough to form my own assessments of how America's current situation reflects on their work. I don't believe in every single one of Strauss and Howe's ideas, and as a Millennial, I feel comfortable in dissenting from some things they have written and said about my own generation. Having said that, I believe completely in the basic insights and principles upon which their work is based. And since professional historians will never embrace Strauss and Howe's ideas, this series fills a gap that the mainstream plainly will not.

From the beginning, The Generation Report has set out to make a case for generational theory as a lens through which everyone can better understand generations, history, and the world around us. I have usually chosen to focus on topics which are germane to current events, current generations stories, current political rhetoric, and conversations about all of the above. At other times, I have chosen topics about history or popular culture which are meaningful to me personally. Always, I have sought to elevate conversation about these topics above the muck that circulates in the mainstream.

I hope you will watch and listen to some of the videos you see on the Gallery page, and that you’ll share the series with friends and family if you find it meaningful. It’s monumentally important for the connection between history and generations to be recognized and understood…not only by every concerned American, but by everyone who loves freedom, everywhere.

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