• • • The divided soul of the Baby Boomers
Larry Eskridge, Canton Daily Ledger (IL) Alan Greenspan |Atlas Shrugged |Capitalism |Individualism |Personal life | 1957 was the watershed year for Baby Boomers.
Most people think it was 1963, when Kennedy was assassinated, or 1964, when the Beatles first appeared on Ed Sullivan, or 1967, the Summer of Love, or 1969, the year of Woodstock and Altamont. But 1957 saw the publication of the two books which shaped the worldview of the Baby Boomers -- "Atlas Shrugged" by Ayn Rand and "On the Road" by Jack Kerouac.
That's right. The Bible of the neoconservatives and the Bible of the counterculture both appeared in print for the first time in 1957. At first glance, the two books and their authors seem to have nothing in common. One celebrates the glories of capitalism, venerating the quintessential American ideals of thrift and hard work and material prosperity. The other celebrates a total reversal of the recognized American dream, a life of irresponsibility and experiences not sanctioned by middle class morality. [....] >But a closer look shows that the two had more in common than one would think.