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New Discovery

New Discovery: Boom! From The Economist

How one generation blew up American politics

3:26 PM GMT+1 on July 5, 2024

    The Economist strikes again with a brand new limited series that asks the question on everyone’s mind: How are two old, unpopular white men still in the running for the world’s hardest job of becoming the next US President?

    Boom! is a 6-part podcast from The Economist hosted by John Prideaux, the magazine’s US Editor, that looks at how over what is likely to be 36 years – with one exception of Barack Obama – white men born in the 1940’s have been setting the agenda. 

    The baby boomer generation in charge of the US, and perhaps even the world’s, politics is no coincidence. Prideaux argues that the reason behind their long-running success is rooted in the socio-economic conditions that favoured them from childhood. From generational victories over Nazis, to extreme wealth accumulation and even scientific and tech advancements in their youth have set them up to dominate. But at what cost? 

    Prideaux argues that there were six particular years that define this generational takeover: 1968, 1978, 1987, 1994, 2008, 2020. These years draw up the episodes of Boom! that unpack how a generation primed for success has overseen the polarisation of the US political landscape and the undermining of American democracy as we know it. As the baby boomer rule comes to a close, the series also tries to answer what legacy we will be left with when the world moves on. 

    Listen to Boom!’s first episode out now for free on any podcast app. If you are already a subscriber to The Economist, you will also have full access to all episodes of the podcast. You can also sign up for Economist Podcasts+ to get exclusive access to The Economist’s audio offerings. 

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