I approached this book initially very skeptically. My previous experience with "prophecy" was, as I vaguely recall, a book called "The Great Depression of the 1990's" or something like that. But the authors make a convincing case first, that each generation (they define generations in terms of contemporaries or cohorts) really does have a different character, and second, that this generational intermix would produce a major crisis in the U. S. sometime in the period 2005 - 2025. A social crisis is not when things, even bad things, happen to us. It is a crisis because of our reaction. Consider a catalog of the most recent crises: Bill Clinton's impeachment, Watergate, the Vietnam War, Iran-Contra, or even September 11. These are not the kind of crises we are looking for, because they didn't fundamentally change everything in the way that the American Revolution, the American Civil War, and the Great Depression and Second World War did.At the time of September 11, I didn't think that this event presaged the "Fourth Turning," and I still think this is the wrong event. I think that a future historian trying to follow Strauss and Howe's method will probably date this from 2005 (Katrina and peak oil?), 2008 (oil price spike and economic meltdown?), or 2010 (some new crisis).