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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Francis Beckett ; What did the Baby Boomers Ever......., 23 Sept. 2010
This review is from: What did the baby boomers ever do for us?: Why the Children of the Sixites Lived the Dream and Failed the Future (Paperback)
I was in the year below Francis Beckett at Keele in the late Sixties. He was far left which wasn't my politics but he always had reasoned opinions and wasn't obnoxious like quite a few of his contemporaries. Strangely I totally agree with his views on the Baby Boomers. Many of those saying they were far left have taken advantage of capitalism and live in gated communities, retired to France etc. If you are a Socialist and have made money you should be sharing it out and not be laughing at those who have less than you. A shameful performance by my generation who will want to be looked after as they lose their marbles.
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Initial post: 15 Jan 2013 18:13:13 GMT
I was born in 1947 so I am covered by his definition of "baby boomer". I don't have anything to be ashamed about, and neither do most of my contemporaries!

The author describes a culture of the 60s that doesn't resemble the culture I was influenced by. During the 60s I was struggling to get enough O-levels to get into the 6th form, then struggling to get enough A-levels to get to university, then moving to live among "strangers in a strange land" because my job was a long way from where I was brought up. (This allowed my parents to buy a house, because they no longer had to support me through the education system).

This is the key to this book. He is not talking about all baby boomers; not even all the baby boomers according to his own unique definition of people born 1945-1955. He is typically talking about the people in this cohort who went to university, that is 5% of the cohort. I don't think the other 95% are worth his consideration. Worse: he is talking about the fewer than 1% who got their hands near the levers of power and influence.

He believes that Blair and Brown let his ideals down, and they were baby boomers according to his definition. They were influenced by lots of factors when young, and I think be believes that all of us in the cohort were. But most of us were doing what most people of earlier and later generations did; work, make friends, have the occasional holiday, perhaps get married and have children. (Not me; I was a childfree workaholic). This book is a rage against Blair and people like him and people who supported him. (I had contempt for both Blair and Brown, and feel they screwed up the country; in that I perhaps agree with the author!)

The people in his definition of a baby boom never reached 20% of the electorate, and by 2010 we were down to 15%. They never dominated the political or economic scene by weight of numbers. The few who achieved power had no loyalty to the rest of the cohort. (Blair's 2005 manifesto promised free travel for people at least 60. In other words he was appealing to people born 1945 and earlier).

I think this book should have been titled "What did Tony Blair and people like him ever do for us? Why they Lived the Dream and Failed the Future".
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