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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

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  620 ratings  ·  80 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
...more
Hardcover, 280 pages
Published March 4th 2014 by PublicAffairs
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3.66  · 
Rating details
 ·  620 ratings  ·  80 reviews


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Louise
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
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Harris
After finishing this book, I came 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
Christine Gould
Oct 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I study aging and am a nerd (according to my husband) so this book was right up my alley. I enjoyed the comparisons across generations, racial/ethnic groups and countries. I very much appreciated the author’s transparency in discussing the methods of their surveys in an appendix.
Melissa Stacy
May 11, 2014 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
Matthew Green
Apr 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you happen to be fond of the survey data reported by the Pew Research Center, The Next America will be a book to your liking. In a coherent, well-organized manner, Taylor documents many of the social and demographic trends taking place in American society. The primary reason I wouldn't give the book five stars is that much of the material in the last few chapters (on technology use, aging, Social Security) could have been omitted, especially since a lot of it did not rely on Pew survey data. ...more
Tori
Sep 01, 2015 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
erforscherin
If you love piecing together a story from data and graphs, this is the book for you! There’s a treasure trove of cool graphs from Pew reports here exploring the composition, lives, and beliefs of different generations in the U.S. (Silent vs. Baby Boomers vs. Gen X vs. Millennials), and Taylor does an admirable job of stitching them together into a coherent narrative.

My only complaint was that it felt a little... unfulfilling? I would have liked to see a little more analysis of why to go with man
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Mary
Jul 06, 2014 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
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Ron Bronson
Mar 05, 2014 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.
George P.
Sep 04, 2014 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 reams of research by the Pew Research Center, which he serves as executive vice pr
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Carlos
An interesting fact-filled book focused more in laying out a common set of facts to discuss the looming set of generational problems than in advocating any particular solution. Taylor runs down the contrasts between the two largest living generations, the Baby Boomers and the Millenials, in everything from religiosity to marriage patterns to highlight the frictions between the competing interests of young and old. Relying on census and Pew Research data he thoroughly fleshes out the changes in p ...more
Les Simpson
May 17, 2018 rated it liked it
While there are lots of interesting bits of data throughout the book, it is striking how much has changed in the 5 years since this book was written/published. For example attitudes about same-sex marriage and legalization of marijuana have obviously changed, with the former now being legal in all 50 states and the latter legal in more states every year. Also, in the age of the Trump presidency, I’m sure Millennials (and everyone else) are more engaged with news and politics than reported, and t ...more
Nathan Schneider
Jul 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: culture, research
Of course, the findings from research will soon be outdated, but the book provides enough historical data that we can see the direction of culture. It's especially interesting to see the way that living generations relate to each other in a number of different categories: religiously, politically, etc. I also read the book iGen this year by Jean Twenge, which is similar in a lot of regards, but focuses more on where we're at, rather than where we're headed. It was helpful to read them together.
Timothy Liu
Dec 13, 2017 rated it liked it
Pretty good book heavy in statistics and facts. Sometimes it feels more like a list of statistics than a book, but the charts help illustrate an interesting story. The analysis done by the author (parts that weren't just stats) were well thought out and clever.
Alexander
Aug 25, 2017 rated it liked it
A lot of interesting statistics showing differences between generations.
Dave Cazeau
May 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Offers some good insight on how the US is evolving, and how we came to our current political climate... Use of the Pew Research statistics is helpful too.
kmm1985
Jan 17, 2018 rated it liked it
Fascinating. As a social scientist I love data about people trends!
Matthew Gilman
Dec 28, 2016 rated it liked it
insightful but never talks about the future battle it often refers to between the different generations. just a string of statistics.
Amber
Jul 07, 2014 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
Nikki
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
Lauren
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
Mark
Feb 22, 2015 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
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Ed Bernard
Apr 15, 2014 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
Carl
Dec 08, 2016 rated it liked it
Interesting book, about 100 pages too long. Lots of repetitive stats throughout the chapters and sometimes within the same chapter. Still an interesting read on the aging of the U.S. and other developed countries and just how UNPREPARED we (U.S.) are to deal with it. There is still hope nut the changes needed to save Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security will require congressional changes which the two parties will never be able to agree upon. One will require increased taxes and lower benefits ...more
Laraine
May 22, 2014 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
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Stuart Woolf
Mar 16, 2014 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
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Anne
May 26, 2014 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
Wglockner
Mar 19, 2014 rated it liked it
Because I work in PR, demographics oriented books like this are always great "figure fodder." This book is no exception, however, it goes quite a bit farther than that. Attempting to Mark major demographic shifts and their effects on culture, politics, economics, and life in America, this book is a good read for anyone who would like a light introduction to our changing society and what we can expect in the future.

While I am a bit weary of books which try to explain the difference between bloom
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Alexander
Feb 15, 2014 rated it liked it
It would serve the country well if everyone read this summary of national demographic, economic and political survey data and analysis of the generational challenges that we're experience now and will even more in the future. Unfortunately, almost everyone who will take the time to read this probably knows most of the information already. Nonetheless, it's was worth reading it all in one place, and contemplating the state of a nation that refuses to invest in its future, even when it knows bette ...more
Austin Martin
May 20, 2014 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
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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
“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.” 5 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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