Synopses & Reviews
"Lynch provides a fresh and comprehensive look at the potential for politically mobilizing the large Boomer generation. He successfully mixes anecdotes, scholarship, and statistics to present an entertaining and informative analysis of a timely topic. Anyone desiring to effect change in public policy will welcome this book."and#151;William H. Frey, The Brookings Institution
and#147;Fred Lynch has written a nuanced and marvelously comprehensive examination of the state of the Boomer Nation. This book offers an in-depth look at the economic challenges facing Boomers as well as a colorful account of how AARP has tried to rebrand itself to attract the generation that once celebrated the free spirit and hated the and#145;establishmentand#8217;.and#8221;and#151;Neil Howe, co-author of The Graying of the Great Powers
"A timely and important study of one of the most powerful lobbying groups in America as it redefines its mission and its message to confront the generational challenges of the twenty-first century." and#151;Steve Gillon, author of Boomer Nation and Resident Historian of the History Channel
"Fred Lynch's interpretation is an illuminating and much needed empirical corrective to the confusing and misleading cant that dominates so much of the debate. His scholarship deftly distinguishes between the organization's marketing to an aging society and the diverse realities of that population demographic." and#151;Ted Marmor, author of Fads, Fallacies, and Foolishness in Medical Care Management and Policy and The Politics of Medicare
and#8220;An engaging, insightful portrait of Americaand#8217;s retiring baby boomers and the way they are changing the politics of aging.and#8221;
and#8220;Well written, insightful, and on target . . . a fascinating analysis of where boomers are headed, the many challenges they face.and#8221;
This book provides a fresh and even-handed account of the newly modernized AARP (formerly the American Association of Retired Persons)and#151;the 40-million member insurance giant and political lobby that continues to set the national agenda for Medicare and Social Security. Frederick R. Lynch addresses AARPand#8217;s courtship of 78 million aging baby boomers and the possibility of harnessing what may be the largest ever senior voting bloc to defend threatened cutbacks to Social Security, Medicare, and under-funded pension systems. Based on years of research, interviews with key strategists, and analyses of hundreds documents, One Nation under AARP profiles a largely white generation, raised in the relatively tranquil 1950s and growing old in a twenty-first century nation buffeted by rapid economic, cultural, and demographic change. Lynch argues that an ideologically divided boomer generation must decide whether to resist entitlement reductions through its own political mobilization or, by default, to empower AARP as it tries to shed its and#147;greedy geezerand#8221; stereotype with an increasingly post-boomer agenda for multigenerational equity.
About the Author
Frederick R. Lynch is a government professor at Claremont McKenna College and the author of Invisible Victims and The Diversity Machine.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Not Going Quietly
1. Boomer Basics: Generation, Culture, Demographics
2. Old Age in a New Society
3. Boomersand#8217; Senior Power Potential: From Social Protest to Self- Preservation
4. Crash Landing for a Self-Critical Generation
5. Not Your Fatherand#8217;s AARP: Bill Novelli Builds a New Boomer Brand
6. AARP Turns Fifty: The Battle for Health Care Reform
7. You Canand#8217;t Always Get What You Want: Me, We, or AARP?
Appendix: Methodological Odyssey