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The Making of an Elder Culture: Reflections on the Future of America’s Most Audacious Generation

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Forty years later, the "audacious generation" takes on the unfinished business of their counter-culture youth. It is a brilliant and highly original thesis. I commend Roszak for writing the book.
― Tom Pochari, World Affairs Monthly ...sense of optimisim that comes out in this book, where Roszak champions the possibility of restoring that lost commitment to the ideals of libertion .
― Tom Hartley The Summer of Love. Vietnam. Woodstock. These are the milestones of the baby boomer generation Theodore Roszak chronicled in his 1969 breakthrough book The Making of a Counter Culture . Part of an unprecedented longevity revolution, those boomers form the most educated, most socially conscientious, politically savvy older generation the world has ever seen. And they are preparing for Act Two. The Making of an Elder Culture reminds the boomers of the creative role they once played in our society and of the moral and intellectual resources they have to draw upon for radical transformation in their later years. Seeing the experience of aging as a revolution in consciousness, it predicts an “elder insurgency” where boomers return to take up what they left undone in their youth. Freed from competitive individualism, military-industrial bravado, and the careerist rat race, who better to forge a compassionate economy? Who better positioned not only to demand Social Security and Medicare for themselves, but to champion “Entitlements for Everyone”? Fusing the green, the gray, and the just, Eldertown can be an achievable, truly sustainable future. Part demographic study, part history, part critique, and part appeal, Theodore Roszak’s take on the imminent transformation of our world is as wise as it is inspired―and utterly appealing. Theodore Roszak is the author of fifteen books, including the 1969 classic The Making of a Counter Culture . He is professor emeritus of history at California State University, and lives in Berkeley, California.

320 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 2009

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About the author

Theodore Roszak

74 books121 followers
Theodore Roszak was Professor Emeritus of history at California State University, East Bay. He is best known for his 1969 text, The Making of a Counter Culture.

Roszak first came to public prominence in 1969, with the publication of his The Making of a Counter Culture[5] which chronicled and gave explanation to the European and North American counterculture of the 1960s. He is generally credited with the first use of the term "counterculture".

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Displaying 1 - 4 of 4 reviews
Profile Image for Michael.
218 reviews46 followers
February 18, 2010
Roszak has written a very useful and interesting book on the movement of the Boomer age cohort into the senior population. His information on the progressive aging of America as Boomer seniors comprise a larger and larger percentage of the total population requires serious consideration not only by those in government and health care industries but by all who will live in a world dominated by the concerns of elders. Roszak's assessment of how the Boomer experience of growing up in the sixties will make Boomer seniors different from "traditional" seniors is intriguing but speculative. While he is no doubt correct in asserting that Boomer seniors will have enormous political influence when they vote as a group (in support of entitlements, for example), I think the issues in which they find common cause will be more limited than he predicts. I would like to think that support for the environment, sustainability, peace, and freedom will be among the issues that unite Boomer seniors, along with a healthy mistrust of authority and a belief that change is possible. I suspect that there will be even more issues that will divide them and that these will be based in part on regional concerns, educational backgrounds, and the harsh realities of the economy and world politics. Then too, while the Boomers may differ significantly from past senior populations, their "age cohort" is hardly monolithic. There are big differences between the formative experiences of a Boomer born in 1946 and one born in 1964. With those caveats in mind, Roszak raises a number of important points, including the fallacy of generational accounting, the necessity of entitlements for all, the importance of the National Life Expectancy as a major economic indicator, and the potential of the Longevity Revolution to change the world. As long as we bear in mind that none of us are what we were in the sixties, although all of us were forged in part in that fiery furnace, we can read Roszak's book with profit. I don't forsee an "elder insurgency" (unless some new idiot comes out of the bushes to try to dismantle Social Security), but maybe my generation will make a quiet but substantial change that will focus our attention on what really matters in the here and now. Imagine . . .
114 reviews
March 22, 2010
I actually learned some things from this book and gained some new perspectives but at times it was painful. I think he could have made this flow better.
Displaying 1 - 4 of 4 reviews

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