AP

Review: OK, boomers, ‘The Aftermath’ dives into major shifts

Jan 23, 2023, 12:22 AM | Updated: 2:58 pm

This cover image released by Viking shows "The Aftermath: The Last Days of the Baby Boom and the Future of Power in America" by Philip Bump. (Viking via AP)

(Viking via AP)

“The Aftermath: the Last Days of the Baby Boom and the Future of Power in America” by Philip Bump (Viking)

At the outset of his book, columnist Philip Bump makes it clear that he’s writing about an America undergoing massive shifts as the baby boom generation ages.

“We are living through a historic disruption of the American empire,” The Washington Post national columnist writes in the introduction to “The Aftermath: the Last Days of the Baby Boom and the Future of Power in America.”

What that disruption means for the country remains uncertain in many areas, but Bump leaves no stone unturned as he takes a detailed look at the rise of the baby boom generation, its impact on the United States and the implications of its final days.

That look is bookended by the tale of Kathleen Casey Kirschling. She had been identified in a 1980 book as America’s first baby boomer, born just after midnight on Jan. 1, 1946. That date began the baby boom that has shaped the nation for decades.

To show just how many areas he explores, Bump even manages time to take a look at the evolution of James Bond during the baby boomers’ rise.

It would be easy to to get lost in the numbers as Bump takes a deep dive into as he looks at the cultural, political and demographic changes the country is going through. But there’s no shortage of charts and graphs throughout the book to help readers along the way.

Many of the consequences of the last days of the baby boom generation that Bump outlines are playing out in today’s headlines, including the increased strains on government services and employers as the generation ages.

Fittingly, the book ends with an exploration of how the fissures that have developed as the generations shift are shaping democracy. Bump describes an environment where hyper-partisanship, technology and distrust of institutions are combining to create an even more divisive environment.

The biggest unanswered question left is what will become of democracy in such an environment, especially as the baby boom generation’s power fades.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Image: Members of the Makah Indian tribe paddle away from the rising sun as they head from Neah Bay...

Associated Press

Washington’s Makah Tribe clears major hurdle toward resuming traditional whale hunts

The U.S. granted the Makah Indian Tribe a long-sought waiver that helps clear the way for its first sanctioned whale hunts since 1999.

4 hours ago

jerry west...

Tim Reynolds, The Associated Press

Jerry West, a 3-time Hall of Fame selection and the NBA logo, dies at 86

Jerry West, a three-time Basketball Hall of Fame inductee whose silhouette is considered to be the basis of the NBA logo, died Wednesday morning.

1 day ago

Photo: Construction vehicles are parked outside of the Station U & O building on Tuesday, June 11, ...

Haleluya Hadero, The Associated Press

Amazon adds $1.4B to affordable housing fund for regions where it has corporate offices

Amazon is adding $1.4B to a fund for building more affordable housing in regions where the company has major corporate offices.

2 days ago

hunter biden...

Randall Chase and the Associated Press

Hunter Biden convicted of all 3 felony charges in federal gun trial

Hunter Biden has been convicted of all three felony charges related to the purchase of a revolver in 2018, but no sentencing date was set.

2 days ago

Photo: A Bremerton man who made 20 "swatting" calls around the U.S. and in Canada, prompting real e...

Associated Press

Bremerton man sentenced for 20 ‘swatting’ calls of false threats in US, Canada

A Bremerton man who made 20 "swatting" calls around the U.S. and in Canada, prompting real emergency responses, has been sentenced.

3 days ago

Image: U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, left, speaks with Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zele...

Associated Press

Ukraine uses US weapons to strike inside Russia, a Western official tells AP

Ukraine has used U.S weapons to strike inside Russia in recent days, according to a Western official familiar with the matter told the AP.

8 days ago

Review: OK, boomers, ‘The Aftermath’ dives into major shifts