The Fourth Turning: an American Prophecy
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The Fourth Turning: an American Prophecy

By (author) William Strauss , By (author) Neil Howe

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The authors look back five hundred years and uncover a distinct pattern: Modern history moves in cycles, each one lasting about the length of a human life, each composed of four eras - or "turnings" - that last about twenty years and that always arrive in the same order. First comes a High, a period of confident expansion as a new order takes root after the old has been swept away. Next comes an Awakening, a time of spiritual exploration and rebellion against the now-established order. Then comes an Unravelling, an increasingly troubled era in which individualism triumphs over crumbling institutions. Last comes a Crisis - the Fourth Turning - when society passes through a great and perilous gate in history. Together, the four turnings comprise history's seasonal rhythm of growth, maturation, entropy, and rebirth. By applying the lessons of history, The Fourth Turning makes some bold and hopeful predictions about America's next rendezvous with destiny. It also shows us how we can prepare for what's ahead, both individually and as a nation.

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  • Paperback | 382 pages
  • 154.94 x 231.14 x 33.02mm | 476.27g
  • 05 Oct 1998
  • Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group Inc
  • Bantam USA
  • New York
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0767900464
  • 9780767900461
  • 46,906

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Author Information

William Strauss and Neil Howe, the authors of "Generations: The History of America's Future" and "13th-GEN, " write and lecture frequently on generational issues.Strauss is the cofounder and director of the Capitol Steps, a political cabaret.Howe, a historian and economist, is a senior advisor for the Concord Coalition.They both live in the Washington, D.C., area."

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Review quote

"I put down "The Fourth Turning" with a mixture of terror and excitement....If Strauss and Howe are right, they will take their place among the great American prophets." --David Kaiser, "Boston Globe" "One of the best efforts to give us an integrated vision of where we are going." "--Wall Street Journal" "A startling vision of what the cycles of history predict for the future." "--USA Weekend"

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Flap copy

First came the postwar High, then the Awakening of the '60s and '70s, and now the Unraveling. This audacious and provocative book tells us what to expect just beyond the start of the next century. Are you ready for the Fourth Turning? Strauss and Howe will change the way you see the world--and your place in it. In "The Fourth Turning, they apply their generational theories to the cycles of history and locate America in the middle of an unraveling period, on the brink of a crisis. How you prepare for this crisis--the Fourth Turning--is intimately connected to the mood and attitude of your particular generation. Are you one of the can-do "GI generation," who triumphed in the last crisis? Do you belong to the mediating "Silent Majority," who enjoyed the 1950s High? Do you fall into the "awakened" Boomer category of the 1970s and 1980s, or are you a Gen-Xer struggling to adapt to our splintering world? Whatever your stage of life, "The Fourth Turning offers bold predictions about how all of us can prepare, individually and collectively, for America's next rendezvous with destiny.

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