Strauss–Howe generational theory
The Strauss–Howe generational theory, created by authors William Strauss and Neil Howe, identifies a recurring generational cycle in American history. Strauss and Howe lay the groundwork for the theory in their 1991 book Generations, which retells the history of America as a series of generational biographies going back to 1584. In their 1997 book The Fourth Turning, the authors expanded the theory to focus on a fourfold cycle of generational types and recurring mood eras in American history. They and their consultancy, LifeCourse Associates, have expanded on the concept in a variety of publications since then.The theory was developed to describe the history of the United States, including the 13 colonies and their British antecedents, and this is where the most detailed research has been done. However, the authors have also examined generational trends elsewhere in the world and identified similar cycles in several developed countries. The books are best-sellers and the theory has been widely influential and acclaimed. Eric Hoover (2009) has called the authors pioneers in a burgeoning industry of consultants, speakers and researchers focused on generations.Academic response to the theory has been mixed—some applauding Strauss and Howe for their ""bold and imaginative thesis,"" and others criticizing the theory. Criticism has focused on the lack of rigorous empirical evidence for their claims, and a perception that aspects of the argument gloss over real differences within the population.