Bookmonger: John J. Miller interviews Matthew Hennessey to discuss his book, Zero Hour for Gen X.
This podcast appears on National Review Aug. 20, 2018. Duration: 14 min.
In Zero Hour for Gen X, Matthew Hennessey calls on his generation, Generation X, to take a stand against tech-obsessed millennials, apathetic baby boomers, utopian Silicon Valley “visionaries,” and the menace to top them all: the soft totalitarian conspiracy known as the Internet of Things. Soon Gen Xers will be the only cohort of Americans who remember life as it was lived before the arrival of the Internet. They are, as Hennessey dubs them, “the last adult generation,” the sole remaining link to a time when childhood was still a bit dangerous but produced adults who were naturally resilient.
More than a decade into the social media revolution, the American public is waking up to the idea that the tech sector’s intentions might not be as pure as advertised. The mountains of money being made off our browsing habits and purchase histories are used to fund ever-more extravagant and utopian projects that, by their very natures, will corrode the foundations of free society, leaving us all helpless and digitally enslaved to an elite crew of ultra-sophisticated tech geniuses. But it’s not too late to turn the tide. There’s still time for Gen X to write its own future.
A spirited defense of free speech, eye contact, and the virtues of patience, Zero Hour for Gen X is a cultural history of the last 35 years, an analysis of the current social and historical moment, and a generational call to arms.
Matthew Hennessey is an associate op-ed editor at The Wall Street Journal and the author of “Zero Hour for Gen X” (Encounter Books, 2018). He is a graduate of Hunter College (CUNY) and Fordham University. He lives in the New York City area with his wife and their five children.