In the revolutionary war, America fought and won against the British. During the Civil War, it was North versus South. Today and in the not too distant future, it will be Baby Boomers versus Millennials. In The Next America by Paul Taylor and the Pew Research Center, Taylor lays out through facts and figures, the demographics of our future America and the widening social gap between the two largest living generations, Baby Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) and Millennials (born after 1980). Taylor writes, "Millennials and Baby Boomers are the lead characters in a looming generational showdown by dint of their vast number and strategic location in the life cycle."
More than 10,000 Baby Boomers are retiring every single day from now until 2030. Millennials are described as tech-savvy, underemployed twenty-somethings who are affectionately called "Boomerangers" because now 4 out 10 Millennials return home to live with their parents. The Pew Research Center provides plenty of data that shows the contrasting ideas between Baby Boomers and Millennials within such areas as healthcare, race, immigration, political affiliation, and religion. The book also tackles fun stuff like marriage and social networking, and Taylor doesn't forget about our other two living generations: The Silents (born from 1928-1945) and the GenXers (born from 1965-1980). The Next America is a bit technical for light reading, but has some heart as well. Taylor, a Baby Boomer himself, writes "...what gives the drama an almost Shakespearean richness, is something more: they're also each other's children and parents, bound together in an intricate web of love, support, anxiety, resentment, and interdependence."
Looking for more books on social issues in America? Check out Floating City by Sudhir Venkatesh or find out what the Pew Research Center is saying about libraries in their Seven Surprises About Libraries in the Pew Surveys article.