The Baby Boom: How it Got That Way (And It Wasn't My Fault) (And I'll Never Do It Again) by P.J. O'Rourke

What goes around comes around for the most self-absorbed generation since Adam hooked up with Eve at the Garden of Eden love-in.



The temptation with any P.J. O'Rourke book is to review it by simply quoting from it. After all, trying to stand aloof and objective to a work of non-fiction is difficult when you are blowing coffee out of your nose reading lines like: "Drugs taught a generation of Americans the metric system. "After all, continues O'Rourke,"... who indeed knew what a kilo or a gram was before pot and coke began arriving in those quantities?"

But unlike most of the drug-induced epiphanies of the 1960s, there really is a message somewhere in his latest work, "The Baby Boom: How it Got That Way (And It Wasn't My Fault) (And I'll Never Do It Again)" [Atlantic Monthly Press, $25]. Along with being his longest title ever, it's also O'Rourke's first all-new, previously unpublished work in more than half a decade. And as much fun as he has lancing the psychic carbuncles of the Baby Boom, the most abiding theme is one of droll satisfaction, maybe even a touch of Faginesque pride in the shaggy pickpockets and Artful Draft-Dodgers of his g-g-g-generation.

The Greatest Generation may have been hipper than we Boomers gave them credit for (just listen to Count Basie or watch "Mad Men" for proof), but, O'Rourke contends, as far as our parents are concerned, the greatest thing they ever did was make the world a safe place for us turn it into our personal rumpus room and then "grow old and addled enough to vote for Ron Paul in a presidential primary."

 

 

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