Millennial Momentum: How a New Generation Is Remaking America

Millennial Momentum: How a New Generation Is Remaking America

Millennial Momentum: How a New Generation Is Remaking America

Millennial Momentum: How a New Generation Is Remaking America


About every eight decades, coincident with the most stressful and perilous events in U.S. history--the Revolutionary and Civil Wars and the Great Depression and World War II--a new, positive, accomplished, and group-oriented "civic generation" emerges to change the course of history and remake America. The Millennial Generation (born 1982-2003) is America's newest civic generation.

In their 2008 book, Millennial Makeover, Morley Winograd and Michael D. Hais made a prescient argument that the Millennial Generation would change American politics for good. Later that year, a huge surge of participation from young voters helped to launch Barack Obama into the White House.

Now, in Millennial Momentum, Winograd and Hais investigate how the beliefs and practices of the Millennials are transforming other areas of American culture, from education to entertainment, from the workplace to the home, and from business to politics and government. The Millennials' cooperative ethic and can-do spirit have only just begun to make their mark, and are likely to continue to reshape American values for decades to come.

Drawing from an impressive array of demographic data, popular texts, and personal interviews, the authors show how the ethnically diverse, socially tolerant, and technologically fluent Millennials can help guide the United States to retain its leadership of the world community and the global marketplace. They also illustrate why this generation's unique blend of civic idealism and savvy pragmatism will enable us to overcome the internal culture wars and institutional malaise currently plaguing the country. Millennial Momentum offers a message of hope for a deeply divided nation.


To have a clear sense of where America is headed in the future requires a thorough understanding of the behaviors and attitudes of the Millennial Generation, young Americans born between 1982 and 2003. Millennials were decisive in determining the outcome of the 2008 elections and the political and societal impact of the generation is only going to grow over the coming decades, as increasing numbers of Millennials enter the electorate, go to work, get married, start families, and dominate the country’s media and entertainment audiences. Of the approximately 95 million Millennials now living, only 41 percent were of voting age in 2008, and they composed less than one-fifth of the electorate that year. When Barack Obama seeks reelection in 2012, about six in ten Millennials will be eligible to vote, and about one in four American voters will come from the Millennial Generation. By 2020, when virtually all members of the generation will be of voting age, Millennials will represent more than one out every three adults (36%).

Any group of that size will be able not only to sway elections and determine public policy in such areas as health care, education, energy, and the environment but also to change the way America lives and works. Finding jobs for everyone in the generation and motivating them to provide the innovation and creativity necessary to grow the economy again will be a central challenge for leaders in America’s private and public sectors. Furthermore, the technologies Millennials utilize so often and so well, from social networks to mobile smart phones, will provide communication capabilities that will undermine hierarchical organizational structures in government and business, modifying, if not entirely eliminating, the top-down, command-and-control structures built by members of the GI Generation during and after World War II. The interest of Millennials in staying in touch with anyone anywhere in the world . . .

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