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Publisher Description

This astonishing book will change the way you see the world -- and your place in it.

With startling originality, The Fourth Turning illuminates the past, explains the present, and reimagines the future. Most remarkably, it offers an utterly persuasive prophecy about a new American era that will begin just after the millennium.

William Strauss and Neil Howe base this vision on a provocative new theory of American history. The authors look back five hundred years and uncover a distinct pattern: Modern history moves in cycles, each one lasting about the length of a long human life, each composed of four eras--or "turnings"--that last about twenty years and that always arrive in the same order.

First comes a High, a period of confident expansion as a new order takes root after the old has been swept away. Next comes an Awakening, a time of spiritual exploration and rebellion against the now-established order. Then comes an Unraveling, an increasingly troubled era in which individualism triumphs over crumbling institutions. Last comes a Crisis--the Fourth Turning--when society passes through a great and perilous gate in history. Together, the four turnings comprise history's seasonal rhythm of growth, maturation, entropy, and rebirth.

Strauss and Howe locate today's America as midway through an Unraveling, roughly a decade away from the next era of Crisis. In a brilliant analysis of the post-World War II period, they show how generational dynamics are the key to understanding the cycles of American history. They draw vivid portraits of all the modern generations: the can-do G.I.s, the mediating Silent, the values-absorbed Boomers, the pragmatic 13ers, and the child Millennials. Placed in the context of history's long rhythms, the persona and role of each generation become clear--as does the inevitability of the coming Crisis.

Whatever your stage of life, The Fourth Turning offers bold predictions about how all of us can prepare, individually and collectively, for America's next rendezvous with destiny.

Neil Howe
hr min
December 1
Random House Audio

Customer Reviews

GalacticaLover ,

Not bad, as predictions go.

Easy to laugh at the stuff they got wrong and toss the book away. However, they got a substantial part of the last 20 years very right. In fact, I'd say they got enough right to put a lot of credence into the concept of this Fourth Turning.

Without giving their story away, essentially, they are saying there is something within us, within our genetics that embeds a time factor into our personalities. People born a roughly the same time share an identity. It's like astrology, but only real. Life is broken into roughtly 20 year segments of four repeating patterns. The patterns follow precisely one after the other. One is more aggressive, one is more artistic, one is more individualistic. Look at the 60s, do you not see a trend? Was that trend very different than the 40s-50s?

There's something here. The 20-year ages don't repeat exactly, because of environmental variables, but the trends are there. It's very interesting.

jeff68108 ,

Failed is all I can say from 2017

Everybody says it's so spot on I guess you can say that till 2000 after that it just doesn't see anything right if you look at things on how they are between 2000 and 2017.

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