A Generation of Sociopaths by Bruce Cannon Gibney

A Generation of Sociopaths by Cannon Gibney is a tough book. Gibney is pissed, and you should be too. But I'm not sure we shoudl be pissed at the boomers.

A Generation of Sociopaths is a well researched polemic railing against the excesses and failures of judgment and moral action that has characterized the last 30-40 years of politics and culture in America. Gibney is not wrong that boomers have controlled the government since the 80s (their numbers pushed Reagan over the line and got their first president in Clinton in 1992) and that there has been a gross dereliction of duty over this period.

Climate change, bankrupting Social Security and Medicare, regressive tax policies, endless unnecessary wars (brought to you by the generation that fought Viet Nam!!) are just some of the highlights. The research is well done and Gibney cites studies and experts to back up his assertions.

Where this book doesn't work for me is the generational context. That's a tough way to frame the problem and highlights the problem with blaming groups for individuals or cohorts within the group. Gibney tries to make the case for malice but you can't pin that on a generation.

The socio-economic facts are interesting: first generation to grow up with TV, first generation to get the vote at 18, coming of age during cultural turmoil, and unparalleled economic prosperity.

However, individual members of the generation did nothing more than be born.

This might have worked better as a straight narrative rather than a polemic.

TLDR: Makes me miss Christopher Hitchens. The master of the form.

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