I’m just going to repost the Slackonomics jacket copy — including a brief excerpt and short bio — which was written in May and published in July, 2008:
Generation X grew up in the 1980s, when Alex P. Keaton was going to be a millionaire by the time he was thirty, greed was good, and social activism was deader than disco. That was before the Great Middle Class Squeeze and a roller coaster of economic insecurity and technological innovations changed everything. Two back-to-back bubbles later, many Xers find that living in a time of “creative destruction”—when an old economic order is upended by a new one—has deeply affected their everyday lives; from how they work, where they live, how they play, when they marry and have children, to their attitudes on love, humor, friendship, happiness, and personal fulfillment.
But what’s more, after spending years in the shadow of baby-boomers only to find themselves facing the prospects of economic ruin and environmental meltdown, Xers are realizing the time may finally have arrived for them to be in charge.
One part Freakonomics, one part Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs, Chamberlain’s debut deftly weaves together the disparate forces that have shaped a generation and defined an era. Exploring the connections between Douglas Coupland and Melrose Place, dot-com insanity and the riot grrrl scene, Donnie Darko and the current housing crisis, present-day graffiti artists and an early twentieth-century Austrian economist, Slackonomics is a wry and compelling must-read for anyone interested in our post-Boomer future.
Ironically, before this generation was known as Generation X, the prevailing wisdom (circa 1985) was that this group would have it pretty cushy in almost every way: as babyboomers aged their way through society, vast opportunities would open up for the smaller demographic coming up behind them; colleges would be competing with each other to attract the best students; as boomers moved out of the workforce there would be more jobs available than could be filled, increasing pay and benefits; and—get this—there would be a flood of affordable housing as boomers traded up! As the saying goes, prediction is very hard, especially about the future…
Lisa Chamberlain is a regular contributor to the New York Times and the executive director of the Forum for Urban Design. Her writing has also appeared in Salon, New York magazine, and the New York Observer. Previously, she was the editor-in-chief of a Village Voice-owned weekly paper. She lives in the East Village in New York City.