Fast Future: How the Millennial Generation Is Shaping Our World

David D. Burstein. Beacon, $25.95 (240p) ISBN 978-0-8070-4469-8
This articulate and occasionally one-sided apologia for millennials defends the generation born between 1980 and 1994 against “kids these days” complaints. Burstein’s own résumé burnishes his case. While still in high school, he founded a film festival, going on to create a nonprofit (Generation18), and supporting documentary (18 in ’08), advocating for young people to vote. Wisely, only the preface involves the potentially self-aggrandizing details of Burstein’s career, with far more space going to the traits he believes make millennial Americans uniquely well-equipped to navigate our era’s “operating system” of cultural assumptions. An especially important attribute is “pragmatic idealism,” the linchpin in Burstein’s argument against those who call this generation politically apathetic or amorally careerist. He defines his generation instead by those working toward progressive change alongside corporations or within major political parties. In the name of inclusivity, Burstein allocates the final chapter to global youth-driven change, referring to the Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street, and keeps up a sometimes strained nonpartisan tone throughout (he feels compelled to cite both Kennedy and Reagan as precursors to Obama’s youthful electoral support). If this is a boosterish rallying cry, with only limited time for uncongenial facts like high unemployment or intractable political conflicts, it’s at least a thoughtful one. Agent: Heather Baror, Baror International. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 12/03/2012
Release date: 02/12/2013
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FORMATS
Paperback - 206 pages - 978-0-8070-3322-7
Open Ebook - 978-0-8070-4470-4
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