Silent Generation

Last Updated: Jun. 17, 2014

The Silent Generation (Artist, born 1925–1942) grew up as the suffocated children of war and depression. They came of age just too late to be war heroes and just too early to be youthful free spirits. Instead, this early-marrying Lonely Crowd became the risk-averse technicians and professionals of a post-crisis era in which conformity seemed to be a sure ticket to success. Many found a voice as sensitive rock ‘n rollers and civil-rights advocates. Midlife was an anxious “passage” for a generation torn between stolid elders and passionate juniors. Their surge to power coincided with fragmenting families, cultural diversity, institutional indecision, and prolific litigation. As America’s newest and most affluent-ever seniors (no longer “senior citizens”), they wonder why just “following the rules” no longer works for their children and grandchildren. (AMERICAN: Colin Powell, Walter Mondale, Woody Allen, Martin Luther King, Jr., ElizabethTaylor, Elvis Presley; FOREIGN: Anne Frank, Mikhail Gorbachev)

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