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The Next America: Boomers, Millennials, and the Looming Generational Showdown
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The Next America: Boomers, Millennials, and the Looming Generational Showdown

3.68  ·  Rating Details  ·  435 Ratings  ·  67 Reviews
The America of the near future will look nothing like the America of the recent past.

America is in the throes of a demographic overhaul. Huge generation gaps have opened up in our political and social values, our economic well-being, our family structure, our racial and ethnic identity, our gender norms, our religious affiliation, and our technology use.

Today’s Millennials
Hardcover, 280 pages
Published March 4th 2014 by PublicAffairs
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Paul Taylor oversees social, demographic and generational research for the Pew Research Center. He has produced a book that is both a reference volume and an interpretive narrative. The theme is the economic realities of the generations and the problem of caring for a growing graying population.

Charts, graphs and narrative drill down into the inter-generational economic well-being of the four groups: Millenials, Xers, Boomers and Silents. The differences are just as striking as the more widely k
Melissa Stacy
May 19, 2014 Melissa Stacy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
A very educational nonfiction title observing a variety of statistics within generational demographies-- primarily between the old and the young (the Baby Boomers and the Silents vs. the Millennials and Gen-Xers). The author cites a plethora of statistical information (the great bulk of which came from Pew Research polls) in order to build to the final chapter, which examines the terrifying problem of the unsustainable entitlement programs (Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid) that will soon ...more
Oct 15, 2015 Tori rated it liked it
Taylor serves up a thoughtful-yet-approachable analysis of a whole lot of data around generational differences and the seismic shifts that have taken place in the US in the past 10-15 years thanks to technology, immigration, and economic reset. The central thesis: This is not your grandma's America anymore, but you can understand and respond and change too. While much of the discussion centers on the juxtaposition of Millennials and Boomers in today's society, I feel like it's aimed squarely at ...more
Apr 28, 2015 Harris rated it liked it
After finishing this book, I can across this, the Pew Research Center's statistics on library usage, with regards to the Hennepin County Library. Interesting stuff, the kind of stuff you could waste an afternoon online pondering its implications, weaknesses. The use and power of libraries is definitely something that is changing through the years, changing but remaining as important a community resource as ever but, having been provided all of these facts by the Pew, how much can we really make ...more
Ron Bronson
Mar 07, 2014 Ron Bronson rated it liked it
If you're relatively well-read and keep up with Pew studies, this won't really be a shocking book for you all at. It's not really a narrative, as much as it's the data with the normal reports in book form put all together. It's no less informative and extremely useful if you need/want the stats for use in other things. But if you just want a book to read with a more story-like narrative, this isn't really quite the bag.
Mar 15, 2015 Mary rated it liked it
A dense book loaded with statistics. In fact, I couldn't finish it. Worthwhile if you are a health policy analyst, a marketer, or a wonk dealing with generational issues. I got enough out of it to wonder if I will see the breaking points in my lifetime. The book did make me more informed about the crises our economy and society will face in the next 50 years due to having fewer younger workers paying into entitlement programs.

Goodreads needs a category for "abandoned" in cases where one began a
George Paul
Sep 04, 2014 George Paul rated it it was amazing
Paul Taylor, The Next America: Boomers, Millennials, and the Looming Generational Showdown (New York: PublicAffairs, 2014). Hardcover / Kindle

The Next America is not a book about how to contextualize the gospel in contemporary America. At least, that was not Paul Taylor’s intention in writing it. And yet, as I read his fascinating new study, I couldn’t help but notice its missiological significance.

Drawing on reamsof research by the Pew Research Center, which he serves as executive vice pres
Sep 03, 2014 Andie rated it really liked it
Author Paul Taylor, formerly of the Washington Post, worked with the Pew Research Center to create this book. I think what they were trying to say with their research and finding is, "Iceberg! Straight ahead!"

The central conflict pits the Baby-boomers against the Millennials.

Taylor says his generation - The Boomers - are having trouble coming to terms with getting old, and the Millennials are having trouble growing up. One generation is working longer (and may still take Social Security down), a
Jul 07, 2014 Amber rated it liked it
This book has a few interesting factoids, is written accessibly, and doesn't take too long to get through--but ultimately I wouldn't recommend it. It's fairly vacuous; I mean that not in the ultra-pejorative sense, but just that there's not much to it. It's light on policy recommendations, or even just conclusions from all of the demographic data it lays out. Granted, the book doesn't pretend to be much else, but I suppose I just couldn't believe that detailing political, demographic, and fiscal ...more
Ed Bernard
Apr 15, 2014 Ed Bernard rated it really liked it
This is a fascinating look at the demographic changes that will define America for the next generation. The author is a fellow at the Pew Center, a non-partisan think tank that studies this stuff. It gave me a lot of hope for the millennials, who will be paying for the retirement of boomers like me. As the father of two millennials myself, I have a strong interest in what this generation is like. It was nice to see that they are basically unprejudiced, forward thinking, generous and wise. Not th ...more
May 22, 2014 Laraine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This very well researched (Pew Research) and written book delivers on explaining the changing demographics and persona of Amercians and what they mean to each of us, across generations.

The social, racial and economic shifts that we see and experience are explained using historical facts as well as survey data. If you are a boomer who got into technology, social networking et all early-on, you may identify with the millennials, but to them, it's all they have every known! The author puts "it" ou
Stuart Woolf
Mar 16, 2014 Stuart Woolf rated it really liked it
I read this book, in part, because of its heavy promotion on Pew's website. Unsurprisingly, the book reads like many of Pew's surveys: comprehensive, non-ideological, data-driven social science. While few who follow the news will be surprised by the content of this book, there are a few surprises - and Taylor's holistic analysis of various social trends is among the best I have read anywhere.

One chapter (regarding digital technology) and part of another (regarding futurism) were written by diffe
May 26, 2014 Anne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this after reading a review of it in The Boston Globe. The book presented a lot of information, which I found interesting and thought provoking. It is easy to forget how small changes eventually transform society, and how society has changed. Technology has evolved so quickly and these changes will only increase, hopefully positively impacting the quality of life. This book made me think to remain open minded, embrace change and stay positive. There were some upsides to the book, but the ...more
Catherine Gillespie
Jan 31, 2015 Catherine Gillespie rated it really liked it
Shelves: culture
If you’re at all interested in society, generational differences, and social change over time, you will find Paul Taylor’s The Next America fascinating. The book examines both changes in thought and attitudes across generations, and also how demographic changes pose economic and structural changes for our society in the future. While the data focuses on America, the Pew Research Center conducts international research so the findings reflect that, especially in the demographic and economic issues ...more
Richard Cytowic
Jul 04, 2014 Richard Cytowic rated it liked it
Generations are more different from each other now than at any time in living memory. The multigenerational household now sees boomers and boomerangers living under the same roof as they once did in the 1940s and 1950s.

Paul Taylor of the Pew Research Center in Washington, DC, has written a data-rich profile suggesting where America is headed in terms of generational demographics. Along the way he compares us to other nations, and illustrates rapidly changing attitudes among younger generations a
Jul 08, 2015 Liam rated it really liked it
"In all of these trends, the US is an outlier. The fertility rate here is among the highest in the developed world (just under 2 per woman), so our median age won't rise nearly as fast. Ours is 37 now; by 2050, it is projected to be 41. The global median age is expected to climb from 29 in 2010 to 36 in 2050. The overall US population is projected to increase at a faster rate than average, thanks to births and immigration. By 2050, it is projected to be about 400 million, up from today's 315 mil ...more
Austin Martin
May 28, 2014 Austin Martin rated it really liked it
I liked this book because it brought to light the issues the generations are facing and how changing demographics and culture are impacting every aspects of our lives. What I liked most about reading this book was reading about how different things are now and about what has been happening in other countries politically and economically including in the U.S. What I got out of this book was a ton of information on things I have not heard of before and learned some new things about programs offere ...more
This was essentially a giant amalgamation of Pew polling data. It's an amalgamation with a very clear narrative that is told accessibly and in a lively fashion, but an amalgamation of data is, at its core, what it is. The book focuses on many different aspects of the demographics of the different generations, ultimately in the service of an argument about rebalancing the major entitlements in favor of generational equity. I have one complaint, but it may be a kind of selfish one. I wish disabili ...more
May 23, 2015 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

There is scarcely any major social topic -- generational relationships, religion, divorce, parenting, Social Security, technology -- that is not covered in some way in this fascinating book.

Taylor has a daunting task: Not only does he have to try to describe the differing views of Americans on a wide variety of issues, but he has to do it in prose form. That makes this not the easiest book to read, despite his great skill as a writer, because so much of his prose has to summarize numbers, mostl
While many of the statistics within the book are interesting, I found the book largely dull and dry. On top of being repetitive, the book would spend pages explaining/breaking down a graph compiled from polling information. I honestly could have saved myself a great deal of reading by just looking at the graphs themselves as any intelligent person could figure out what they are indicating. Sometimes more information was provided from past polls, studies and such, but largely the graphs held thei ...more
Aug 29, 2014 Bookman8 rated it really liked it
Wow, what an important book for Boomers and Millenials. America is in the midst of one of the largest demographic shifts in its history. This shift is being seen in voting patterns, work ethic, religious leanings, attitudes to other people, and the future will be the result of what is going on right now. How do we face the challenges ahead? This book provides us with much of the data to support what we intuitively know. This is not a solution book. View it as an information source.
Jun 22, 2015 Ben added it
As someone who was born in the small gap between Gen X'ers and Millenials, I am skeptical about generalizing across an entire 20+ year generation group. But this book provides a handy, well-researched breakdown of each generation's attitudes toward cost of living, social security, technology, diversity, religion, and politics. And it addresses the big problem head on: how can we continue to support a ballooning number of retirees with a shrinking young workforce?
Apr 10, 2014 Rachael rated it liked it
At the beginning of the book Taylor warned readers that he was going to be giving us a lot of data; he was not kidding. A lot of numbers get thrown at you, but he does also talk about what these numbers mean. There's definitely a doom and gloom feel at the end of the book, as it focuses on how the Millennials will not be able to afford to support the Baby Boomers for much longer and they will not get anything in return.
Carol Brusegar
Oct 29, 2015 Carol Brusegar rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Listening to this rather than reading it had pluses and minuses. Listening gave a sense of overview that would be hard to get in reading, I think. But I missed the chance to look back and compare parts, see charts, etc. There is so much illuminating information on a wide variety of topics that it is probably a better reference book, once you've read or heard it once, rather than just listening.
Samantha Cossick
May 06, 2014 Samantha Cossick rated it really liked it
An interesting look at the current picture of America through the lens of data and statistics provided by the Pew Research Center. If you're someone who keeps up on national studies, there's not a whole lot that would surprise you. However, others may have a harder time grappling with what the stats show and what they believe. Overall, a quick read with a lot of useful information.
Aug 14, 2015 Jamie rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Very interesting. Using Pew Research surveys and data, the book describes where we are as a country and where we are heading in the future. He looks at the marriage & family, population, immigration, aging and social security and more. Easy to read and with digestible charts and statistics.
Sep 21, 2014 Josh rated it liked it
A fact-filled, chart-filled, up-to-date research guide to the changing face of America. The word "showdown" in the subtitle is really alarmist. The author actually goes to great lengths to demonstrate that today's generations are more interdependent than any other time in American history.
Robert Wechsler
Apr 30, 2015 Robert Wechsler rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
The author uses the excuse of describing the current generations to give the reader much more information than needed (and far too many survey numbers). But he does draw a good picture of some basic generational problems. He is weaker, however, on the solutions, which are limited to a discussion of “generational equity” in the final chapter. This is a valuable book to skim.
Trish Hooper
Jun 10, 2015 Trish Hooper rated it it was amazing
This is a well organized look at the demographic trends shaping the country, and shaping current and future debates. I appreciated that the author put the U.S. trends in context with global trends. The immigration section was an enlightening departure from the current political shrillness that gets all of the oxygen.
Jan 15, 2015 Mauricio rated it really liked it
America has never been more diverse than it is now and "The Next America" offers an interesting summary of the present and a glimpse of the future. As a marketer, the most interesting thing about this book is what Pew does with it's massive survey data to get insights into any possible segment from the population. Great read overall and has made me a fan of Pew's research work.
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Paul Taylor is the executive vice president of special projects at the Pew Research Center, where he oversees demographic, social and generational research. Taylor is the author of The Next America, a new book examining generations and the country’s changing demographics. From 1996 through 2003, he served as president and board chairman of the Alliance for Better Campaigns. Before that, he was a n ...more
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“America isn't breaking apart at the seams. The American dream isn't dying. Our new racial and ethnic complexion hasn't triggered massive outbreaks of intolerance. Our generations aren't at each other's throats. They're living more interdependently than at any time in recent memory, because that turns out to be a good coping strategy in hard times. Our nation faces huge challenges, no doubt. So do the rest of the world's aging economic powers. If you had to pick a nation with the right stuff to ride out the coming demographic storm, you'd be crazy not to choose America, warts and all.” 4 likes
“There's no evidence from decades of Pew Research surveys that public opinion, in the aggregate, is more extreme now than in the past. But what has changed -- and pretty dramatically -- is the growing tendency of people to sort themselves into political parties based on their ideological differences.” 1 likes
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