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The Fourth Turning: An American Prophecy | [William Strauss, Neil Howe]

The Fourth Turning: An American Prophecy

This provocative book has found renewed popularity in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks: Is this the onset of the Crisis - the Fourth Turning - of which the authors predict? Hear it and decide for yourself. An audible.com audio exclusive.
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Publisher's Summary

An utterly persuasive prophecy about a new American era that begins just after the millennium, The Fourth Turning illuminates the past, explains the present, and imagines the future.

William Strauss and Neil Howe base this vision on a provocative new theory of American history. With intellectual audacity, the authors look back 500 years and uncover a distinct pattern: History moves in cycles, each one lasting about the length of a long human life, each composed of four eras - or "turnings" - that last about 20 years and always arrive in the same order. First comes a High, a period of confident growth as a new order takes root. Next comes an Awakening, a time of spiritual exploration and rebellion against the now-established order. Then comes an Unraveling, an increasingly troubled era as individualism triumphs over crumbling institutions. Last comes a Crisis - the Fourth Turning - when society passes through a great and perilous gate in history.

Strauss and Howe locate today's America as midway through an Unraveling, roughly a decade away from the next era of Crisis. They show how generational dynamics are the key to understanding the cycles of American history and draw vivid portraits of all the modern generations: the can-do G.I.s, the mediating Silent, the self-absorbed Boomers, the pragmatic 13ers, and the child Millennials. Placed in the context of history's long rhythms, the persona and role of each generation becomes clear - as does the inevitability of the coming Crisis.

By applying the lessons of history, The Fourth Turning makes some bold and hopeful predictions about America's next rendezvous with destiny, and shows us how we can prepare for what's ahead.

©1997 William Strauss and Neil Howe; (P) Bantam Doubleday Dell Audio Publishing, a Division of Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

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  •  
    Robert Clayton, NC, USA 06-29-04
    Robert Clayton, NC, USA 06-29-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Explanation of generational interaction"

    Future generations will judge this book and the theories it presents as a foundation to understanding how the generations interact. Anyone who takes the time to understand this book will be uniquely prepared for the events that are about to unfold in the not too distant future (2009).

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David New Hartfrod, CT, USA 10-17-03
    David New Hartfrod, CT, USA 10-17-03 Member Since 2013
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    "As the World Turns..."

    This book presents a fresh and fascinating viewpoint of how the order and relationship of generations to one another bring about great and unexpected changes in our society. The thesis builds upon a previous study done by the authors in an earlier book entitled "Generations" and works to apply the theories advanced in that book to the conditions as we have them today. Far more than a book of shallow prognosication, it equips each of us with a new lens that can be used to see relationships and trends heretofore invisible. I recommend it for anyone with an interest in history who wishes to challenge their staid views of the past.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Aldous Gulf Breeze, FL, USA 04-17-10
    Aldous Gulf Breeze, FL, USA 04-17-10 Member Since 2014
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    "Fascinating"

    This book gave me a new perspective on our history and our possible future. This book was written in 1997 and I read it in 2010. It's not a book predicting the future, but it does make some forecasts that are pretty spot-on. I find this book quite valuable and would recommend this book to my children when they grow up. The knowledge in it is valuable in that it gives you foresight of cycles to come in our culture. I agree with the authors' premise that time is cyclical and not linear.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Judd Bagley Utah 05-03-09
    Judd Bagley Utah 05-03-09 Member Since 2015

    Max Fisher of Rushmore Academy

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    "The grand unified theory of sociology"

    People who really get what this book is saying find it changes their entire world views. I am one of them and cannot recommend it highly enough. Having said that, I also cannot do enough to recommend that you get paper and audio versions and consume them in parallel. Some of these concepts really need to be seen in tabular format to be understood. At the same time, I found that listening to this abridged version greatly enhanced by comprehension of the full print version, and helped me to be more patient with it when it grew occasionally circular.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Greg 04-06-10
    Greg 04-06-10 Member Since 2012
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    "Outstanding"

    This is a great book. Though it was written in 1996 because of the accuracy of their predictions you would have thought it was written today (2010) in retrospect of the happenings of this past decade. It'll change the way you think about and see the things happening in America today.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard 11-13-10
    Richard 11-13-10 Member Since 2014
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    "An Amazing Map of What is to Come"

    I listened to this book four times to date. This book lays out history in a completely new and insightful way and provides razor sharp insight into what is going on in society now and what is to come. It is at once hopeful and terrifying.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Johanna bronx, NY, USA 05-04-10
    Johanna bronx, NY, USA 05-04-10
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    "The Fourth Turning"

    The most amazing book I have read. It explains so much about American Generations and how each one effects the other and the times we lived in and the times we will live in.
    It predicted the Stock market crash of 2008 and the turmoil we are going through as a nation.
    All our national politicians should read this.


    Nomad 4 life!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shannon Maylene, AL, USA 08-23-09
    Shannon Maylene, AL, USA 08-23-09
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    "Life Altering Perspective"

    We seem to have lost all conventional wisdom regarding the natural cycle of all things to include life, economies, cultures, governments, etc... This book really puts generation gaps in a natural perspective. This book gave me a clearer understanding of why my parents' generation often seems more foreign and irrelevant to me than that of of my grandparents. Amazing book.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    peter Houten, Netherlands 02-16-15
    peter Houten, Netherlands 02-16-15 Member Since 2005
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    "Dissapointing"

    I read an article on zerohedge about the fourth turning en thought the article was very good, so I bought this book immediately.
    However , it is full with generalities like generation X wants this from generation Y. Like they are acting and thinking entities. He also wants to combat the coming crisis by emphasising young people to be less individualistic and more collectivist and make sacrifices. A strong government is a good thing he says. The young will be more dependent on government. Yet he wants to avoid fascism. In my view making collectivist, sacrificing obedient youth a recepy for fascism. I am sorry I sponsored it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    ronan sao paulo, Brazil 11-22-11
    ronan sao paulo, Brazil 11-22-11
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    "Soon to be a classic"

    The Fourth Turning is a book that's way ahead of it's time. If only the leaders of society would acknowledge it's value and act accordingly.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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