Anthropology, arguably the most American of the social sciences, is also the most poignant. In Declining Fortunes, Katherine Newman adeptly applies her anthropological skills to a most American topic: the prospects of the baby boom generation. Drawing on interviews with residents of "Pleasanton," a prosperous suburban community in the Northeast, Newman traces the generational identity of what could be the most influential cohort in the nation's history. But fortune has eluded the baby boomers. In her exploration of the context, the consequences, and the rationalization of generational failure, Newman integrates demographic and economic evidence with her interviews producing an account that is as satisfying as it is troubling.

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