First, The Book Review. I downloaded a recommendation, Helene Cooper's memoir, The House at Sugar Beach: in Search of a Lost African Childhood. It looks wonderful.
I read the usual sad stories about people who really screwed up and are now close to broke, for a good dose of Schadenfreude. Then an article that is so dumb I won't link to it about the advertising battle between Microsoft and Apple.
This article, The New Old Guard, really chapped my hide. He says that 70 year olds don't remember Roosevelt. This 70 year old does! And sure, a lot of my peers have taken up the old fart ways of life--the ones who had old fart parents and followed in their old fart footsteps. I have been in their boring enclaves and seen how selfish they are and all the rest of it, especially if their kids haven't "turned out" or if they have alcohol addiction or other addiction problems. And to be fair, they've had hard lives-- but who hasn't? Still, they are not the majority. Most of us elderly have strong community ties, most of us still live in our own homes, most of us have children and grandchildren whose future we worry about.
But it's easy to pick on us, because we are so few, the Depression babies. We were on the cusp of the big cultural change, brought about by the Pill and Nixon's eliminating the draft. Unwanted pregnancies and getting drafted were the main issues in the lives of young people. After that, it became sex, drugs, and rock 'n roll to the masses and masses of Boomers. And cutthroat competition for all the goodies of life.
And whenever there is any protest, you don't see many young people out there! On any side of any issue!
I just read a good book on the 70's, a really well crafted work about actors in NYC by Valerie Martin, The Confessions of Edward Day. Very bright, very competitive, very ruthless, these young people fight for the big prizes. It is square in the American tradition, too. It's based on the Doppelgänger plot. The hero's double saves him from drowning. This does not cause Edward Day to feel grateful, because he is, above all, a competitive and a narcissistic young man who looks upon his rescuer as an impediment to his romantic and career aspirations.
No time for reviews, but maybe I'll do more on the series of new American works by women that I have been reading lately, thanks to Kindle downloads.
(Note: links are screwed up. I'll fix them tomorrow. Too tired right now.)