Fri October 16, 2009
Baby Boomers: Getting Older, Yes, But Still Transforming America's Politics, Society, Economy, and Culture
By Rich Fisher
Tulsa, Oklahoma – On today's show, we talk to the historian and social critic Theodore Roszak. A professor emeritus at California State University, he is the author of some 20 books. In 1969, Roszak published the now-classic study, "The Making of a Counter Culture." His newest book, just out in paperback, is called "The Making of an Elder Culture: Reflections on the Future of America's Most Audacious Generation." It's at once a demographic study, a cultural history, a political critique, and an appeal to reason. Moreover, "The Making of an Elder Culture" is a passionate and well-spoken report from the front lines, so to speak, of the revolution that the Boomers initiated back in the Sixties. As Roszak notes of the Baby Boomers, in general, in his book: "At age 60, they will, on average, have 20-25 years of life ahead of them --- more time than they spent being young . . . and more than enough time to become a political and cultural force for positive change." And later, he continues: "How likely is it that a generation that grew up on the novels of Jack Kerouac, J.D. Salinger, and Ken Kesey; the poetry of Allen Ginsberg; the folk music of Pete Seeger; the anarchic insolence of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones and the acid rock of Bob Dylan --- a generation numbering millions who were ready to doubt everything and try anything --- will settle, in their later years, for their parents' idea of retirement any more than they settled, in their youth, for their parents' idea of success and happiness?"