Born at the Right Time: A History of the Baby-boom Generation

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University of Toronto Press, Jun 1, 1997 - History - 392 pages

It is rare in history for people to link their identity with their generation, and even rarer when children and adolescents actually shape society and influence politics. Both phenomena aptly describe the generation born in the decade following the Second World War. These were the baby boomers, viewed by some as the spoiled, selfish generation that had it all, and by others as a shock wave that made love and peace into tangible ideals. In this book, Doug Owram brings us the untold story of this famous generation as it played out its first twenty-five years in Canadian society.

Beginning with Dr Spock's dictate that this particular crop of babies must be treated gently, Owram explores the myth and history surrounding this group, from its beginning at war's end to the close of the 1960s. The baby boomers wielded extraordinary power right from birth, Owram points out, and laid their claim on history while still in diapers. He sees the generation's power and sense of self stemming from three factors: its size, its affluent circumstance, and its connection with the 1960s - the fabulous decade of free love, flower power, women's liberation, drugs, protest marches, and rock 'n' roll. From Davy Crockett hats and Barbie dolls to the civil-rights movement and the sexual revolution, the concerns of this single generation became predominant themes for all of society. Thus, Owram's history of the baby-boomers is in many ways a history of the era.

Doug Owram has written extensively on cultural icons, Utopian hopes, and the gap between realities and images - all powerful themes in the story of this idealistic generation. A well-researched, lucid, and humorous book, Born at the Right Time is the first Canadian history of the baby-boomers and the society they helped to shape.


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About the author (1997)

DOUG OWRAM is a professor of history and Vice-President Academic at the University of Alberta.

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