The title gives the impression that [Duffy] wants to dynamite the whole idea of dividing people into generations. In fact, he offers a careful dissection of such 'generational thinking' that rejects lazy myths and superficial punditry in favor of a more nuanced analysis of the factors that shape long-term changes in attitudes and behavior ... Before reading this book, I assumed that generational analysis had no value whatsoever. Duffy shows that it actually does, provided it is done carefully. Alas, despite his valiant efforts, overgeneralizations are unlikely to go away. But whether you are a skeptic or a believer in the idea that a generational label has meaning, you will learn something from this amusing and informative book.
How different, really, are the generations? Does it make sense to understand our political future through the lens of generational war? Bobby Duffy asks these questions, and his answers are worth listening to ... Duffy’s book is a case study of how generational thinking obscures the issue of race. For most of the book, race is simply ignored, and the question of how racial minorities might have a different generational trajectory is not asked. The two (short) passages in the book where he discusses race show this blind spot most clearly ... The Generation Myth explicitly aims to show the analytical limits of generational thinking, and it succeeds. It is just as successful, even if accidentally, at showing its political limitations ... Alliances will be impossible to create if lazy generational thinking continues to cloud political judgment. It does matter when you are born, obviously—but, as Duffy’s subtitle indicates, it matters 'less than you think'.