The Silent 

The Generations of Americans

The Cycles of American Generations

20th Century Generational Cohorts and Their Personalities

The Characteristics of American Generation Types

Nearly fifty million Americans were born to the Silent Generation in America from the beginning of 1925 through 1942. The earliest Silent was 14 when Hitler invaded Poland. Before them were the so-called G.I. Generation and after them the Boom Generation, then the X, and now the Millennial. No generation has so small a reputation as does the Silent. No generation since the American Civil War has been so misunderstood and underestimated.

Silents are about 99.9% retired at this point. Almost no Silent commands an industry, a battlefield, anything at all. They will have mostly gone well into their retirements and off the world stage. So, who were these strange folk named "Silent," these people of whom the Great Depression and WWII demanded so much, nor the next group--the massive multitude of inward-looking Boomers?

This website is about the Wm. Manchester's inscrutable and apparently apathetic and unappreciative "Silents," Kerouac's "beats" and Ginsberg's "beatniks," for Philip Wylie's generation of sullen and disorderly "vipers," but more appropriately, it is about this "bridge" generation of somewhat quieter but nevertheless amazingly industrious people. Take a good look at the Silents: these people who finally brought you civil rights, an unparalleled national wealth in the arts and commerce, and unimaginable advances in science and technology.

You cannot be recruited to this generation; there's no risk of that. But, you might notice some of the quality of the Silent generation, and you might infer that the loudest drums are not necessarily the best. I ask you to take this visit seriously. According to the theory presented here, big trouble is headed our way. Knowledge about generations will play an enormous part in the outcome.

On the left you will see the theory of generations as expressed by William Strauss and Neil Howe. On the right you will find lists of Silents.

Much of the information and many of the ideas in this site have been taken directly from Generations: A Future History of America from 1584 to 2069 by William Strauss and Neil Howe. Persons who wish to link to this site may do so, on the condition that they provide a standard acknowledgement at their own site of the book, its authors, and of the additional contributions of yours truly.

  • Heartfelt thanks to Mr. Jackson Rannells for his tireless labors in the Encyclopedia Britannica (and elsewhere) for the majority of contributions to the lists of people from the Silent Generation. Send in your ideas, please.

    More ... About the theory and this website

    Copyright © James R. Brett, 1996-2015.
  • Silents in Government and Politics

    Silents in the Arts, Entertainment, & Sports

    Silents in Science, Technology, and Industry

    Honorary Members and Personae Non Grata

    Further Reading