The Baby Boom generation is not what you think. It's Donald Trump as well as druggies, Born-again Christians as well rock'n'rollers, right-wingers and nerds as well as hippies and freaks. This “thought-provoking” (Kirkus), “mesmerizing” (Tama Janowitz), “wide-ranging” (Red Herring), “unsettling” (Denver Post) collective biography redefines Baby Boom generation — and takes a fresh and refreshing look at the social history of the last sixty years by focusing on nineteen quintessential boomers — from an LSD chemist to a software pioneer, from a Weatherman bomber to a billionaire builder, from an anti-war cartoonist to an ultraconservative congressman, from a rockstar’s girlfriend to a hip-hop impresario — and their wild ride into the twenty-first century.
“Trenchant… well dramatized… thought provoking and unusual… a thorough cultural history.” — Kirkus Reviews
“Hugely entertaining… Effective cinematic technique… Gross is a great interviewer. This book is reminiscent of Gay Talese’s mammoth book on sex in America, Thy Neighbor’s Wife. In that book, Talese got his sources to reveal the details of the most intimate moments of their lives — and not one of them went off the record. Gross also inspired trust in his subjects. A brilliantly reported story.” — The Orlando Sentinel
“Ambitious… unsettling… Gross gets kudos for looking beyond the 1960s. He spends time in Silicon Valley and some of his best passages chronicle the birth of computer technology.” — The Denver Post
“Gross is out to challenge popular assumptions… He proves his point by profiling 19 Americans who demonstrate the distance boomers have traveled and how — far from being stuck in a groove — their lives have shifted…” — W magazine
“Interweaves personal experiences with larger observations about the life and times of the generation [into] a narrative that holds together surprisingly well… This book will simultaneously benefit historians of the Sixties and those who just want to remember their former vanities.” — Library Journal
About the Author:
Michael Gross is the author of the New York Times best-sellers Model, 740 Park and House of Outrageous Fortune, as well as Focus, Genuine Authentic and Rogues' Gallery. A Contributing Editor of Departures, he's a been a columnist for The New York Times, New York Magazine and GQ and has written for Vanity Fair, Esquire, Tatler, Gawker, the Huffington Post and many other digital and print publications.
Journalist Gross, author of Model and a long-time chronicler of baby boom culture, has chosen the form of a group biography of 19 "quintessential boomers" to investigate what has made this generation (born, as Gross defines it, between Pearl Harbor Day and the assassination of President Kennedy) tick over the past half century. The book opens with a report from Woodstock '98 and some general reflections on the boomer generation that converged on the muddy fields of the Aquarian Exposition some 30 years earlier. Here, Gross offers this melancholy assessment: "...our generation has proved to be as tragic as it was blessed, as late-blooming as it was prematurely admired, as reckless as it was adventurous, as pitiable as it was enviable." The remainder of the book follows these 19 baby boomers from childhood to maturity. This chronological skin barely manages to hold together the skeleton of the group biography. Individual lives are picked up and dropped so fast that the reader will wish for family charts and a more detailed character list to refer to. The disparate group ranges from Marianne Williamson ("wild child turned spiritual celebrity") to Michael Fuchs ("media maven multimillionaire retiree") and Nina Harley ("red diaper baby turned bisexual feminist porn star"). Some will dispute Gross's assertion that a character sketch of a generation can be achieved by highlighting a score of not-so-average examples. Nonetheless, Gross's bittersweet look at baby boomers and their culture is certain to induce a wave of nostalgia among his peers. Photos.