In their teens and 20s in the Sixties (1964-73; not to be confused with the '60s), and in their 20s and 30s in the Seventies (1974-83; not to be confused with the '70s), the Boomers...
Oh, what's the point? We've all been forced to hear about the Boomers since they were babies; and their stranglehold on the public imagination shows no sign of weakening now that their oldest members are turning 64, and their youngest 55. Instead of writing an entry, this time, I'll just a post a list of some well-known and influential Boomers.
But first, here's a reminder.
BRAINIAC'S GUIDE TO AMERICA'S RECENT GENERATIONS
Lost Generation The New Kids
Lost Generation Hardboiled Generation
The Greatest Generation Partisans
The Greatest Generation The New Gods
The Silent Generation Postmodernist Generation
The Silent Generation Anti-Anti-Utopian Generation
1944-53: Baby Boomers
Baby Boomers OGX (Original Generation X)
Generation X PC Generation
Generations X/Y Net Generation
Please credit Brainiac/Joshua Glenn whenever you use this guide. Got a beef with my periodization, or different generational name suggestions? Leave a comment on this post or email me. Born between 1954 and 1993 and still unsure about whether you're a Boomer, Xer, Yer, or Millennial? Here's a handy guide.
Authors of books described by the New York Times Book Review in 2006 as "the single best work of American fiction published in the last 25 years": Richard Ford (1944, for "Independence Day"); Tim O'Brien (1946, for "The Things They Carried"); Mark Helprin (1947, for "Winter's Tale"); Denis Johnson (1949, for "Jesus' Son"); Edward P. Jones (1951, for "The Known World").
1944: Angela Davis, Martin Jay, Al Kooper, Alice Walker, Kim Deitch, Stockard Channing, Bill Griffith, Jonathan Demme, Johnny Winter, Bobby Womack, Sly Stone, Sirhan Sirhan, Richard Ford, Diana Ross, Sherry Lansing, Jack Casady, Rob Tyner, George Lucas, Patti LaBelle, Rudy Giuliani, Leonard Peltier, Paul Wellstone, Michael Douglas, Gene Clark, Danny DeVito, Wesley Clark. Elsewhere: Jimmy Page, Lorne Michaels, Frank Oz, Dave Mason, Pete Townshend, Rem Koolhaas.
1945: Russell Jacoby, Victoria Principal, Vince Foster, Joan Acocella, Stephen Stills, Annie Dillard, Henry Beard, Don McLean, Joseph Kosuth, Jerry Bruckheimer, Mia Farrow, Dirk Benedict, Greil Marcus, Tom Selleck, Rob Reiner, Micky Dolenz, Gabe Kaplan, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Bob Seger, Ben Fong-Torres, Kurt Loder, Carly Simon, Debbie Harry, Townes Van Zandt, Steve Martin, Henry Winkler, Goldie Hawn, Diane Sawyer. Elsewhere: Neil Young, John Banville, Davy Jones, Bob Marley, Terence Davies, Eric Clapton, Daniel Cohn-Bendit, Van Morrison.
1946: Diane Keaton, Ron Meyer, Naomi Judd, Dolly Parton, Gilda Radner, David Lynch, Gregory Hines, Peter Wolf, Liza Minnelli, Candice Bergen, Cher, Jann Wenner, Elaine Scarry, Donald Trump, Robert Reich, Michael Milken, George W. Bush, J. Craig Venter, Tim O'Brien, Sylvester Stallone, Linda Ronstadt, Danny Glover, Bill Clinton, Billy Preston, Tommy Lee Jones, Susan Sarandon, Richard Carpenter, Pat Sajak, Gram Parsons, Patty Duke, Steven Spielberg, Jimmy Buffett, and Patti Smith. Elsewhere: John Paul Jones, Syd Barrett, Julian Barnes, Donovan, Andre the Giant, Keith Moon, John Woo, Freddy Mercury, Philip Pullman, Steven Biko.
1947: Warren Zevon, Farrah Fawcett, Lydia Davis, Paul Auster, Drew Gilpin Faust, Jon Landau, Douglas Kenney, Dan Quayle, Tom Scholz, Mitt Romney, Ry Cooder, Glenn Close, Camille Paglia, Tom DeLay, Tom Clancy, David Letterman, Kathy Acker, James Woods, William Strauss, Iggy Pop, Martha Nussbaum, Meredith Baxter, Octavia Butler, Mark Helprin, Larry David, Dave Barry, Arlo Guthrie, Barbara Bach, Stephen King, Meat Loaf, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Richard Dreyfuss, P.J. O'Rourke, David Mamet, Ted Danson. Elsewhere: David Bowie, Elton John, Michael Ignatieff, Salman Rushdie, Carlos Santana, John Ralston Saul, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Marc Bolan.
1948: Ronnie Van Zant, John Carpenter, Joe Roth, Leslie Marmon Silko, Rick James, Alice Cooper, Raymond Kurzweil, Teller, Bernadette Peters, James Ellroy, James Taylor, Billy Crystal, William Gibson, Steven Tyler, Dianne Wiest, Al Gore, Rhea Perlman, Wayne Kramer, Kate Pierson, Stevie Nicks, Elizabeth Blackburn, Jerry Mathers, Phylicia Rashad, Todd Rundgren, Errol Morris, Richard Simmons, S.E. Hinton, Don Henley, Sidney Blumenthal, Sally Struthers, John Ritter, Johnny Ramone, Jackson Browne, T. Coraghessan Boyle, Lester Bangs, Samuel L. Jackson. Elsewhere: Mikhail Baryshnikov, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Jimmy Cliff, Brian Eno, Grace Jones, John Bonham, Nick Drake, Raffi, Cat Stevens, Garry Trudeau, Robert Plant, Phil Hartman, Olivia Newton-John, Art Spiegelman, Prince Charles, Ozzy Osbourne, Gérard Depardieu.
1949: Linda Lovelace, Brandon Tartikoff, James Atlas, Lawrence Kasdan, Paul Berman, Fred "Sonic" Smith, Andy Kaufman, John Belushi, Ken Wilber, Larry Wall, Patrick Duffy, Ric Ocasek, Gil Scott-Heron, Billy Joel, Meryl Streep, Shelley Duvall, Shelley Long, Gene Simmons, Richard Gere, Gloria Gaynor, Bruce Springsteen, Denis Johnson, Jane Smiley, Sigourney Weaver, Katha Pollitt, Stiv Bators, Garry Shandling, Jeff Bridges, Tom Waits, Teri Garr, Tom Verlaine, Don Johnson, Sissy Spacek. Elsewhere: Slavoj Zizek, Christopher Hitchens, Haruki Murakami, Robert Palmer, Erik Estrada, Nick Lowe, Mark Knopfler, Martin Amis, Twiggy Lawson, Pedro Almodovar, Maurice Gibb, Robin Gibb.
1950: Jeffrey Katzenberg, Debbie Allen, Richard Dean Anderson, Morgan Fairchild, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Natalie Cole, John Hughes, Karen Carpenter, Bobby McFerrin, Dave Marsh, Jerry Zucker, William H. Macy, William Hurt, Bud Cort, Charles Krauthammer, Christine Lahti, Jay Leno, Julie Kavner, Bill Murray, John Sayles, Wendy Wasserstein, Tom Petty, John Candy, Joe Queenan, Ed Harris. Elsewhere: Peter Gabriel, Tony Wilson, Arianna Huffington, Peter Frampton, Richard Branson.
1951: Kirstie Alley, Rush Limbaugh, Sven Birkerts, Phil Collins, Michael Kinsley, Jerry Greenfield & Ben Cohen, Brian Grazer, Kurt Russell, Tommy Hilfiger, John Goodman, Ben Katchor, Craig Newmark, Dean Kamen, Steven Seagal, Mick Mars, Jonathan Richman, Joey Ramone, Brad Delpe, Edward P. Jones, Al Franken, John Doerr, Anjelica Huston, Mickey Kaus, Stewart Copeland, Robin Williams, Michael Keaton, Chrissie Hynde, Mark Hamill, John Cougar Mellencamp, Bootsy Collins, Treat Williams, Mr. Butch. Elsewhere: Jane Seymour, Gordon Brown, Sting, Bob Geldof, Cicciolina, Bill Bryson,
1952: Maureen Dowd, Louis Menand, Francis Fukuyama, Laraine Newman, Cullen Murphy, Kim Stanley Robinson, Michael Cunningham, Marilu Henner, Mr. T, Leon Wieseltier, Herb Ritts, Harvey Weinstein, Joseph Patrick Kennedy II, Robert Zemeckis, Dee Dee Ramone, Mark Sandman, Christopher Reeve, Jeff Goldblum, Roseanne Barr. Elsewhere: Douglas Adams, Gus Van Sant, David Byrne, Liam Neeson, Isabella Rossellini, Dan Aykroyd, Joe Strummer, Clive Barker, Vladimir Putin.
1953: Pat Benatar, Paul Krugman, Dennis Cooper, Paul Allen, Thomas Friedman, Jim Jarmusch, Michael Bolton, Barry Sonnenfeld, Rick Moranis, John Edwards, John Malkovich, Cornel West, Cyndi Lauper, Bebe Buell, Anne Fadiman, John Zorn, Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs, Amy Irving, Kim Basinger. Elsewhere: Isabelle Huppert, Tony Blair, Pierce Brosnan, Alan Moore, Tina Brown.
The author is solely responsible for the content.
Leon Neyfakh is the staff writer for Ideas. Amanda Katz is the deputy Ideas editor. Stephen Heuser is the Ideas editor.
Guest blogger Simon Waxman is Managing Editor of Boston Review and has written for WBUR, Alternet, McSweeney's, Jacobin, and others.
Guest blogger Elizabeth Manus is a writer living in New York City. She has been a book review editor at the Boston Phoenix, and a columnist for The New York Observer and Metro.
Guest blogger Sarah Laskow is a freelance writer and editor in New York City. She edits Smithsonian's SmartNews blog and has contributed to Salon, Good, The American Prospect, Bloomberg News, and other publications.
Guest blogger Joshua Glenn is a Boston-based writer, publisher, and freelance semiotician. He was the original Brainiac blogger, and is currently editor of the blog HiLobrow, publisher of a series of Radium Age science fiction novels, and co-author/co-editor of several books, including the story collection "Significant Objects" and the kids' field guide to life "Unbored."
Guest blogger Ruth Graham is a freelance journalist in New Hampshire, and a frequent Ideas contributor. She is a former features editor for the New York Sun, and has written for publications including Slate and the Wall Street Journal.
Joshua Rothman is a graduate student and Teaching Fellow in the Harvard English department, and an Instructor in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He teaches novels and political writing.