New Generational Blog: Neil Howe’s Lifecourse

As regular readers know, I am a big fan of Neil Howe and William Strauss‘ generational research. They literally wrote the book on Generations, and I have found their theories very valuable. Enough so that I have helped Neil Howe in getting a blog started which we just launched a few weeks ago. You can see Neil’s latests posts at http://blog.lifecourse.com. I proud to be the administrator and editor for the blog. If you have any questions, feel free to drop me a line.

10 thoughts on “New Generational Blog: Neil Howe’s Lifecourse”

  1. i'll try to bring myself to tweet this for you, but howe is on my list of colossal jerks – for calling Gen X the stupidest generation evahhhh.

    Neil Howe – Not Cool w X.

    1. @JenX67 – I should have linked to the article I was referring to in the previous comment:

      <a href=”http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/12/05/AR2008120502601.html” target=”_blank”>http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/arti

      It's from the Washington Post in December 2008. Neil does have some harsh things to say about the early Gen X'ers (1961-1965, before you and I were born), but in my view it is tempered with the value that we bring. Here is his conclusion:

      Does America need to worry that this group is taking over as our national leaders? Probably not. Early Xers have certain strengths that many more learned people lack: They're practical and resilient, they handle risk well, and they know how to improvise when even the experts don't know the answer. As the global economy craters, they won't keep leafing through a textbook. They may be a little rough around the edges, but their style usually gets the job done.

      Just don't tell the early Xers that today's youth are the dumbest generation. Not only is that jibe factually untrue, it also calls into question all the family sacrifices the early Xers are now making on behalf of these youth. Let Generation Jones keep the "dumbest" label. They know it fits, and they're tough enough to take it.

    2. @jenx67 – i've always found strauss and howe to be deeply appreciative of — even a bit tender toward – genxers/nomads. i read the wapo article where he called genx "the stupidest gen evahhh," to kinda quote you. you have to read it in full to get thepoint.

  2. I like the lifecourse site, but it seems the research-generations of American leaders- is 4 years out of date.

    But love the blog!

  3. Just completed reading Millennials Rising: The Next Great Generation by Neil Howe and William Strauss.

    Among the aspects of this book that I find troubling is the combination of facts, trends, and broad assumptions that are not really well verified being taken as some sort rigorous analysis. It is more theme oriented journalism with lots of citations, interviews and “factoids”. Not even close to any real in depth analysis. And the authors’ essential conceptual model and conclusions are problematic. It seems to me that the whole “generational” model is an artificial (and, at worst, stereotype-driven) way to break people into easily-labeled groups. In fact, I think things are a lot more complex than the authors seem to believe.

    Prospective readers should also be aware of the background of these authors. Although they are referred to in various reviews as “historians”, their backgrounds are closer to what might be termed “Republican policy wonks”, who now run a consulting business based on identifying and advising on generational trends. If one has read their other books or heard them speak, one becomes aware of their antagonism to cultural trends. Their whole concept of “generations” such as “Xers and Boomers” is largely a marketing and pop culture phenomenon that frequently “fits” the way a horoscope does. Make a few suggestions, present some “proof” and voila, an instant read on history and the future. Their books and their generational divides in general are mostly unsubstantiated, unscientific hooey.

  4. Just completed reading Millennials Rising: The Next Great Generation by Neil Howe and William Strauss. What a total croc!

  5. Prospective readers should also be aware of the background of these authors. Although they are referred to in various reviews as “historians”, their backgrounds are closer to what might be termed “Republican policy wonks”, who now run a consulting business based on identifying and advising on generational trends. If one has read their other books or heard them speak, one becomes aware of their antagonism to cultural trends.

  6. Be aware of the background of these authors. Although they are referred to in various reviews as “historians”, their backgrounds are closer to what might be termed “Republican policy wonks”, who now run a consulting business based on identifying and advising on generational trends. If one has read their other books or heard them speak, one becomes aware of their antagonism to cultural trends. Their books and their generational divides in general are mostly unsubstantiated, unscientific hooey.

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