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Every generation thinks itself the best, or the worst, or the first, or the last. Anything to distinguish it from the generations that came before. Intergenerational contempt is nothing new, even if it purports to be: It was there even as Marcus ­Tullius Cicero was beheaded in Rome in 43 b.c. But as Helen Andrews observes in this wonderfully acidic assault on the boomers, “One of these days the Jeremiahs will be right.” The implication is that the Jeremiahs are right about my lot, the generation born between 1945 and 1964, born in the light of that terrible glow from a thousand suns over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and forever under the same threat of a vast cloud, mushroom-­shaped and rising.

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