Every once in awhile I read a book that is so captivating I feel compelled to go back and read it again and again, eventually locating it on the top section of my book shelf for further reference. Invariably I end up giving it away to someone, and have to purchase a Kindle copy to ensure I will always have it on hand.
The Fourth Turning by William Stauss and Neil Howe is one of those books. Amazing read. These two men deserve a Pultizer Prize for their research, insight and simple genius.
If you are a history buff like me, you will love this book. If you are into biographies, you will love this book. But that is just the starting point. The real secret sauce of The Fourth Turning is in the uncanny patterns that emerge. The book was published in ’97, and the authors warned at that time that we were on the verge of entering another Fourth Turning.
“The next Fourth Turning is due to begin shortly after the new millennium, mid-way through the Oh-Oh decade…Sometime before the year 2025, America will pass through a great gate in history, commensurate with the American Revolution, Civil War and twin-emergencies of the Great Depression and World War II. The risk of catastrophe will be very high. The nation could erupt into insurrection or civil violence, crack up geographically or succumb to authoritarian rule. If there is a war, it is likely to be one of maximum risk and effort, in other words, total war.” (from the book)
Below is a 1997 C-Span video interview with both authors alongside a more recent interview with Neil Howe: