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Publisher's Summary

"Baby Boomers (and I confess I am one): prepare to squirm and shake your increasingly arthritic little fists. For here comes essayist Helen Andrews." (Terry Castle)

With two recessions and a botched pandemic under their belt, the Boomers are their children's favorite punching bag. But is the hatred justified? Is the destruction left in their wake their fault or simply the luck of the generational draw? 

In Boomers, essayist Helen Andrews addresses the Boomer legacy with scrupulous fairness and biting wit. Following the model of Lytton Strachey's Eminent Victorians, she profiles six of the Boomers' brightest and best. She shows how Steve Jobs tried to liberate everyone's inner rebel but unleashed our stultifying digital world of social media and the gig economy. How Aaron Sorkin played pied piper to a generation of idealistic wonks. How Camille Paglia corrupted academia while trying to save it. How Jeffrey Sachs, Al Sharpton, and Sonya Sotomayor wanted to empower the oppressed but ended up empowering new oppressors. 

Ranging far beyond the usual Beatles and Bill Clinton clichés, Andrews shows how these six Boomers' effect on the world has been tragically and often ironically contrary to their intentions. She reveals the essence of Boomerness: They tried to liberate us, and instead of freedom, they left behind chaos. 

©2021 Helen Andrews (P)2021 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"Helen Andrews has written the first book to treat the Baby Boomers not just as youthful dreamers but also as ruthless wielders of power, and to account for what their dreams have cost us. A groundbreaking reassessment of the last generation by one of the bravest and best writers of this one." (Christopher Caldwell, author of The Age of Entitlement)

“Baby boomers (and I confess I am one): prepare to squirm and shake your increasingly arthritic little fists. For here comes essayist Helen Andrews, incendiary new critic of left-wing pieties, youthful scourge of 'disastrous' sixties idealism and its legacies, and all-round millennial conservative whippersnapper par excellence. Even when infuriating or wrong - and Andrews can be both - she is irresistibly intelligent, writes like a dream, and asks questions so uncomfortable and fundamental that the bravery, honesty, and moral seriousness of her approach cannot be gainsaid. Boomers - shall we go there? - is an essential book for our woebegotten time. Excuse me, folks, while I kiss the sky.” (Terry Castle, Walter A. Haas Professor of the Humanities at Stanford University, author of The Professor)

"As a committed but self-hating Baby Boomer, I've read Helen Andrews' work with an uneasy mixture of trepidation and admiration - admiration because she combines a luminous intelligence with a wit that's as glistening and sharp as a straight razor, and trepidation because I realize she is about to turn those weapons on me and my kind. We deserve it, of course, but that doesn't make it any less scary." (Andrew Ferguson, staff writer at The Atlantic, author of Crazy U and Land of Lincoln)

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  • Donald L. Huxley
  • 18-01-2021

We watched them destroy America.

Our parents gave their all and saved America. They made America great. We just sat bye and watched the left destroy the pillars of this country. Thomas Sowell addresses the awful policies decisions in “Dismantling America “,Helen puts a face on it and a living memory. Wonderful book.

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  • Anon
  • 16-01-2021

Very Interesting and Informative

I very much enjoyed listening to this book. There are very few books being written in this vein these days and I appreciated Andrews' courage to tackle difficult and 'un-PC' topics. The author covers many aspects of the historical and societal impacts of the boomer generation that I, as a millennial, have rarely seen discussed in the current political discourse. There were some subjects that into which I would have liked to see Andrews delve a bit deeper but I expect if she had this book may not have been carried by amazon! I look forward to her future works.

The narrator did a stellar job as well, the book was read very clearly and professionally. She took her time elucidating difficult and sometimes wordy topics and narrated in an impassioned and spirited manner. I was very impressed at her ability to bring a level of drama and life into what was a very scholarly and journalistic work - it would be a difficult book to narrate. I expect a good future in audiobook narration for Parnell.

On the whole I would highly recommend giving this a listen.

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  • WGJr
  • 27-01-2021

Great Book

I really enjoyed Andrews’ analysis of the culture today and the root causes of its decline. I invite all “non-boomers” to read this book and wrestle for themselves with the thesis therein. It’s easy to point fingers at the mistakes of others; it’s much harder to enact positive change in the here and now. I can only hope and pray that younger generations see both the follies and accomplishments of older generations and choose to adopt those values that are objectively virtuous and rid themselves of the corruption that is pervasive today.

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  • Sadie Elizabeth
  • 26-02-2021

HORRIBLE HORRIBLE NARRATOR

It’s as though she is encountering the words for the very first time while narrating them. She mispronounces words, she puts the emphasis on the wrong phrases as though she does not quite grasp the meaning of the sentence.
I simply cannot believe that this person was the best they could find. How could the producers listen to this audio and find it acceptable?
The irony is that this book is, in part, about the decline of artistic standards that took place under the baby boomers reign and the narrator is “Exhibit A” of that very thing.

So frustrating! I am at the beginning of the book I don’t know if I am going to be able to finish it… She is that bad.
This is first negative review I have ever written and I hate to do it, but buyer beware... I would have been better off getting the kindle version and using the text to speech feature.

I may still end up doing that because this is a subject that is near and dear to my heart and I want to support those who are willing to tell the unvarnished truth about this hideous and destructive generation.

The author deserves better. And so does the listener.

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  • Michael Burke
  • 10-02-2021

Solid arguments delivered by semi-literate

It’s hard to believe this narrator was chosen for such an important book. She has no sense of English style and cannot pronounce words as simple as “biopic” and many others

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  • Christopher Falvello
  • 03-02-2021

Read this Book

If you were born after 1980, read this book and absorb its lessons. Lord knows that the boomers won't...

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  • Andrew
  • 02-02-2021

Throughly enlightening

You will have heard of several of the boomers Andrews upbraids as figureheads of a failed generation, others you may learn of for the first time. All of them will prove distinctly memorable after this inspection. Andrew’s intellect is allowed to shine here paired with and underpinned by her unapologetic moral pronouncements, which together I found to be a real breath of fresh air. You will not find Andrews apologizing for stating the obvious, that we as a society are worse off on net balance than our parents where at our age. And what other charge more grievous can be leveled at them? Having failed to leave us their children some shell of an inheritance which we might claim as our due, what can be supposed will remain for their children’s children? Pray the apple falls farther from the tree.

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  • Keith Miller
  • 23-01-2021

Insightful Read for Our Times

Conservatives should follow Andrews’ unique critique of Boomers in order to craft a better political future. We need to build back better then the Boomers did. Babies not new iPhones.

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  • rocisaca
  • 03-03-2021

Full of holes and biases

I really wanted to like this book. The premise of the book was very compelling, but the book itself underdelivered. The author makes some interesting points (eg the issues of rejecting transactional leadership), but there are a lot of holes in her argument. She is definitely a conservative white woman and it comes through in the arguments. For example, she tries to make the case that wage stagnation is due to the entry of women in the workforce, stating that women were happier in the home and that companies started to pay employers less because they no longer needed to assume that families have to live on only one salary. However, she doesn’t address any counter arguments- why does women’s entry into the workforce mean that companies can decrease pay for everyone? She assumes that most families have two parents and fails to put any responsibility on the companies. She also talks disparagingly about the BLM movement without going into depth about it, skirting many of the underlying issues and just focusing on the riots that occurred this past summer. She also should have either started or concluded more clearly with how all of these boomers changed society as a whole. Her introduction did not actually encapsulate the arguments she made in the rest of her book.

Overall, great idea, poor execution.

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  • Adam Kradel
  • 24-02-2021

Author in over her head

What a timely topic! The Boomers were wild idealists who failed to live up to their ideals. Unfortunately the author failed to deliver any sufficient evidence to substantiate her vignette biographies. Put in the hands of someone who collects evidence, and then display that evidence, this topic is ripe for someone else to tackle. As for Andrews, her undergraduate professors would have served her better if they had demanded evidence, or even footnotes, for her assertions.

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