Synopses & Reviews
A millennial examines how his generation is profoundly impacting politics, business, media, and activism
They’ve been called trophy kids, entitled, narcissistic, the worst employees in history, and even the dumbest generation. But, argues David Burstein, the millennial generation’s unique blend of civic idealism and savvy pragmatism will enable us to overcome a deeply divided nation facing economic and environmental calamities.
With eighty-million millennials (people who are today eighteen to thirty years old) coming of age and emerging as leaders, this is the largest generation in U.S. history, and, by 2020, its members will represent one out of every three adults. They are more ethnically and racially diverse than their elders and have begun their careers at a time when the recession has set back the job market. Yet they remain optimistic about their future and are deeply connected to one another. Drawing on extensive interviews with his millennial peers and compelling new research, Burstein illustrates how his generation is simultaneously shaping and being shaped by a fast-paced and fast-changing world.
Part oral history, part social documentary, Fast Future reveals the impact and story of the millennial generation—in its own words.
"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 rÃ©sumÃ© 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." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
David D. Burstein is the founder and executive director of Generation18 and director of the documentary 18 in ’08. A frequent contributor to Fast Company, Burstein has appeared as a commentator on youth and politics for a range of publications and media outlets, including CNN, ABC, NPR, the New York Times, USA Today, the Boston Globe, and the Philadelphia Inquirer. He lives in New York City.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Welcome to the Future
Chapter 1: Pragmatic Idealists
Chapter 2: Fast Future, Present Shock
Chapter 3: First Digitals
Chapter 4: Twenty-First-Century Capitalism
Chapter 5: Political Pivot
Chapter 6: Globalized