Авторы Теории Поколений пишут друг о друге.
I met Neil just over ten years ago at a New York City cafe. Never before had I metanyone who so persuasively
blended history, philosophy, politics, and the pop culture into so many instant paradigms. Where a lot of people find ways of making the simple seem all tangled, Neil is gifted at making the complex seem dazzlingly simple. At the time, the idea of writing a book about American generational history was somewhere in the back of my mind, but I doubted I had what took to do it on my own. I recall thinking, as I left the cafe, that is who my collaborator should be.
A year later, Neil moved here to Washington, DC, where we began the project. A synergy swiftly arose between the two of us, translating our respective ideas into one composite perspective on history and society. We conversed often, probing each other’s mind, exploring new dynamics of the same old topic. Indeed, a transcription of our best talks might interest our readers as much as any chapter we’ve ever written. Why do we work so well together? Here’s a clue: I work in a cluttered loft; he, in an orderly basement. He’s a step-and-a-half ahead of me in technology, always pushing me to trade up and abandon my old horse-and-buggy gadgets. And, whatever our concept du jour, Neil knows how to get it right and nail it down in a scholarly manner.
Like me, Neil grew up in the San Francisco Bay area, then went east to school. After lingering around Yale for graduate degrees in history and economics, he embarked on one of those typically eclectic Boomer careers—as an editor, writer, policy analyst, and foundation officer. Currently, he serves as a senior advisor to the Blackstone Group, the Concord Coalition, and the National Taxpayers Union. A leading expert on entitlement programs, he co-edits Concord’s acclaimed faxletter on that subject. He also serves as a marketing and public-affairs consultant to a variety of corporate and nonprofit groups. He recently drafted the National Thrift Plan around which Dick Lamm based his Reform Party candidacy. He lives in Great Falls, Virginia, with his wife Simona and their two-year-old son and five-year-old daughter.
Lately, I’ve had a major corrupting influence on his family life. For years, he left the late-night shift to me. Not so any more. Through our Fourth Turning project, Neil has adjusted to my entertainer’s hours. These days, my phone and fax can ring together at any time, day or night, workday or holiday, with an insistent voice on the other end saying, «Bill, I’m sending you this article that is so unbelievably Third Turning Silent…» Doesn’t the man realize that daily life has its ups and downs—that it has to carry on in cycles?