Living on the Edge: An American Generation’s Journey through the Twentieth Century
by Richard A. Settersten Jr., Glen H. Elder Jr. and Lisa D. Pearce
University of Chicago Press, 2021
Paper: 978-0-226-74812-2 | Cloth: 978-0-226-74809-2 | eISBN: 978-0-226-74826-9

ABOUT THIS BOOK | AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY | TOC
ABOUT THIS BOOK
History carves its imprint on human lives for generations after. When we think of the radical changes that transformed America during the twentieth century, our minds most often snap to the fifties and sixties: the Civil Rights Movement, changing gender roles, and new economic opportunities all point to a decisive turning point. But these were not the only changes that shaped our world, and in Living on the Edge, we learn that rapid social change and uncertainty also defined the lives of Americans born at the turn of the twentieth century. The changes they cultivated and witnessed affect our world as we understand it today.
 
Drawing from the iconic longitudinal Berkeley Guidance Study, Living on the Edge reveals the hopes, struggles, and daily lives of the 1900 generation. Most surprising is how relevant and relatable the lives and experiences of this generation are today, despite the gap of a century. From the reorganization of marriage and family roles and relationships to strategies for adapting to a dramatically changing economy, the challenges faced by this earlier generation echo our own time. Living on the Edge offers an intimate glimpse into not just the history of our country, but the feelings, dreams, and fears of a generation remarkably kindred to the present day.
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