We see our history, and so ourselves, through the eyes of Americans now reaching their 80s.
But as a kind of pocket sociology of our time, it is utterly dominant.
Almost every story we now tell ourselves about our country fits into some portion of the early-boomer life arc.
And our politics is implicitly directed toward recapturing some part of the magic of the mid-20th-century America of boomer youth.
But it was not so simple either, particularly for people at the margins of the powerful mainstream consensus of the age.
Younger Americans imagine that starting a family and owning a home was much easier for previous generations than it really was.
They buy the broad outlines of the boomers’ nostalgia and take it to mean they are inheriting a desiccated society. »