Neil Howe

Neil Howe is an award-winning Yale historian who has written nine highly-influential books about generations. His work is embraced by widely-divergent figures: US Vice President Al Gore called Howe’s book Generations the most stimulating book on American history he’d ever read and sent a copy to each member of Congress, while Trump strategist Steve Bannon made a film based on Howe’s book The Fourth Turning.

Neil Howe on Gen Jones:
Neil has written and spoken publicly about Generation Jones numerous times. For example, in this July 2020 article titled: “Trendspotting: What Is Gen Jones?”, he wrote: “Imagine a generation that combined all of the surly rebelliousness and downward economic mobility of late-wave Boomers with the blunt pragmatism and low collective self-esteem of first-wave Xers. Actually, there is such a generation…Its name is “Generation Jones,” a label invented by Jonathan Pontell, and it includes all Americans born in the late 1950s and early 1960s… Jonesers are different from early-wave Boomers: They fared much worse economically and have long leaned conservative… These differences have since stood the test of time. Americans today around age 60 are significantly more conservative than Americans today around age 70–and, as governors and members of Congress, are significantly more likely to be Republican. In surveys, this group is a noteworthy exception to the rule that voters always become more progressive as they become younger…Musically, they came of age with the Ramones and the Clash–not with the Beatles or Simon and Garfunkle. Politically, they were shaped by stagflation and the Reagan Revolution of 1980–not by Vietnam and the Cambodian Invasion of 1970. Religiously, they were less likely ever to attend a mainstream church and have since been more likely either to attend no church all or to become “born again.”…There are other differences compared to first-wave Boomers. For example, they married later and were more likely never to marry. Joneser women are much more likely to be childless….Overall, this is the group–not later-born Xers or Millennials–that represented the first steep cohort decline in the share of Americans who end up meeting or exceeding their parents’ income by age 30 or 50…What explains these contrasts? Probably, one simple fact: The sweeping cultural revolutions that arrived in America from the mid-’60s on–divorce, drugs, protests, sexual liberation, and rock ‘n roll–hit first-wave Boomers on their way to college, but they hit Jonesers in childhood, often early childhood…So they became the traumatized fans of the Brady Bunch, yearning–maybe even “Jonesing”–for nothing more than to rediscover the close family they missed.”

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