I realise this book is a little off topic compared to the popular and academic science genres I normally write about, however this book has really caught my eye. This book seeks to address underlying roots of many topical and controversial economic and social being acutely felt by today’s youth. Being a member of the demographic under the spotlight in this book really adds an extra dimension the reading and understanding. The demographic labelled the ‘millennials’ are the focus of this book and recent articles from various outlets have tried, to varying degrees, to explain why it seems this demographic is have a hard time relative to previous generations at a similar stage of life. The authors Ed Howker and Shiv Malik are both co-founders of the Intergenerational Foundation (http://www.if.org.uk/) an organisation trying to bring intergenerational inequality to the forefront of political awareness in order to redress the balance.
Here is the blurb and a couple of brief reviews for a deeper flavour of the book. ‘Why are there so many adult children still living with mum and dad? Why do young people find it so difficult to find work? What are the hidden threats to Britain’s long-term prosperity lurking in the next few decades? How is Britain preparing the next generations? First published in 2010, Ed Howker and Shiv Malik’s Jilted Generation answers fundamental questions about the society you thought you knew, identifying for the first time the perilous position of Britain’s young adults. With a title brandished by everyone from Ed Miliband to student protesters, this book is a controversial but essential part of Britain’s political debate. With significant new material, this edition updates the argument and explains the real effects of austerity policies and the recession. And, crucially, it sets out what must be done to protect a vital and underestimated national asset – Britain’s youngest adults. Jilted Generation is essential reading for anyone concerned about the future of Britain.’ (Howker and Malik, 2013).
‘Howker and Malik knit together a taut and analytically rigorous narrative of 25 years of political myopia and mismanagement, outlining a series of gross policy errors that have disproportionately benefited the old at the expense of the young. These mistakes are likely to loom large over the UK for decades.’ – The Spectator (Howker and Malik, 2013).
‘The run-up to the election saw a string of books on intergenerational unfairness … The best was Jilted Generation by Ed Howker and Shiv Malik. They did not confine themselves to education but looked at how children were having their rites of passage postponed, and how vast numbers were living with their parents into their twenties. They could not afford the exorbitant housing costs, or build a carreer because they work in exploitive internships or insecure temporary jobs, if they worked at all.’ – Nick Cohen, The Observer (Howker and Malik, 2013).
This book has individual chapters covering housing, jobs, inheritance and politics all written with deep insight, understandable narrative and whit. I would recommend this book to anyone who falls into the ‘millennial’ demographic, is struggling with starting a career or getting on the housing ladder and wonders what they did wrong.
Howker, E and Malik, S. (2013) Jilted Generation: How Britain has Bankrupted its Youth. London: Icon.