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The Ones We've Been Waiting For

How a New Generation of Leaders Will Transform America
Written by: Charlotte Alter
Narrated by: Charlotte Alter
Length: 10 hrs and 10 mins
Categories: History, Americas

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Publisher's Summary

An optimistic look at the future of American leadership by a brilliant young reporter

A new generation is stepping up. There are now 26 millennials in Congress - a fivefold increase gained in the 2018 midterms alone. They are governing Midwestern cities and college towns, running for city councils, and serving in state legislatures. They are acting urgently on climate change (because they are going to live it); they care deeply about student debt (because they have it); they are utilizing big tech but still want to regulate it (because they understand how it works). In The Ones We've Been Waiting For, Time correspondent Charlotte Alter defines the class of young leaders who are remaking the nation - how grappling with 9/11 as teens, serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, occupying Wall Street and protesting with Black Lives Matter, and shouldering their way into a financially rigged political system has shaped the people who will govern the future.

Through the experiences of millennial leaders - from progressive firebrand Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to Democratic presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg to Republican up-and-comer Elise Stefanik - Charlotte Alter gives the big-picture look at how this generation governs differently than their elders, and how they may drag us out of our current political despair. Millennials have already revolutionized technology, commerce, and media and have powered the major social movements of our time. Now, government is ripe for disruption. The Ones We've Been Waiting For is a hopeful glimpse into a bright new generation of political leaders, and what America might look like when they are in charge.

©2020 Charlotte Alter (P)2020 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"Alter is an exceptional storyteller...this nuanced & comprehensive guide does an admirable job illuminating the next generation of political leaders & the issues that drive them." (Publishers Weekly)

"The Ones We’ve Been Waiting For is an excellent and timely look at the young leaders who are at the gates, and a lesson in what we have to learn from them. If you’re curious about what the future looks like, this book is a thorough, thoughtful place to start." (Rebecca Traister, New York Times best-selling author of Good and Mad and All the Single Ladies)

"For anyone who has dismissed millennials or who cares about our country’s future, Charlotte Alter has written a riveting, essential book. In bringing to vivid life the young upstarts who will ultimately inherit our democracy, Alter has inadvertently given us another vital young voice that will shape our political future: Hers." (Amy Chozick, New York Times best-selling author of Chasing Hillary)

What members say

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • ML Sadler
  • 05-03-20

Born before the lint roller invented

I truly want to understand why young people are ardent supporters of a presidential candidate old enough to be their grandfather. I heard this author interviewed on a TV news show so I thought I'd give this book a shot.

The author makes the point that a person's worldview is shaped by their experiences in their teens/twenties. The Millennial generation has dealt with devastating events such as 911, Hurricane Katrina, etc., etc. Each disaster bigger and badder than the one before.

The first president in their young adult lives was Barack Obama. Hope. Change. Optimism. So now, Millennials won't bother voting for a candidate unless they fall in love with that person 100%.

The author snarks current leaders by mentioning that they were born before famous inventions. With one exception. She mentions Gloria Steinem - who is much older than many of the people she picked on. Not sure why but I thought it was odd.

I finished the book and have had several days to think about it.

Pardon my snark.

I wouldn't know what it is like to be terrorized in grade school (duck & cover 'cause the bomb is going to evaporate us all). Wouldn't know what it is like to idolize a leader (JFK, MLK, Bobby). Wouldn't know what it is like to believe in a cause (civil rights). Grow up in a world filled with tension (Bay of Pigs)? Live through 1968 (Democratic National Convention anyone?). Wouldn't know what it is like to think we're stuck in a war that would never end (58,220 dead in SE Asia). Was never worried that my own government would execute me or my friends for expressing my right of free speech (4 dead in Ohio).

Should we take a look at my parent's generation? Want to visit the horror of WWII? Lord knows, those old Baby Boomers had it SO good.

Yet we voted. I have voted in every presidential election since I registered to vote. Millennials didn't bother to vote during the 2020 Democratic primaries - even for the one they think will give them free health care, college, and marijuana. Kids. Listen. There is no Harry Potter coming to save you. Rey and Princess Leia are fictional characters.

You must do the work.

God bless the generation that comes after the Millennials. I hope they vote. I hope they have the opportunity to vote.





70 people found this helpful

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  • ssbopp
  • 10-04-20

Not what I was expecting

This is a lesson for me to read the summaries a little closer before committing hours of my life to a book. Was looking for a business minded book lending insight into how we can collaborate between very diverse generations. I feel this is a real problem in almost all business environments.
Unfortunately all the ideas in this book are that young people know everything, old people know nothing and Trump is evil.
Regret wasting a credit on this biased view of government should take care of everyone, the world is still (30 years later) going to end in 12 years due to global warming, and we all need to vote Democrat to fix everything millennial dribble.
But it is always interesting to listen to a millennial justify why everything they believe is truth.

24 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-04-20

Bias beyond belief

The author tries to come off as speaking object truth but uses loaded language to convince you of far left ideals. I’m open minded about all ideas but despise when someone tries to trick me into thinking a certain way. This might work on the weak minded but just tell me the facts and let me decide for myself. Terrible book.

21 people found this helpful

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  • A. Parker
  • 27-02-20

Wow - Helps me Understand Bernie's Appeal

What an excellent description of the social, economic, demographic, political, and cultural forces that have shaped the millennial generation and its up and coming leaders! Charlotte Alter's solid reporting combines hard data about the trends that have shaped the millennials, with engaging stories from the lives of ten millenials (Six of the ten names were familiar to me) : Pete Buttigieg, Haley Stevens, Braxton Winston, Elise Stefanik, Dan Crenshaw, Eric Lesser, Max Rose, Lauren Underwood, Svante Myrick, and Alexandria Occasio-Cortez. She starts the book by detailing what these individuals were doing on 9/11, and then recounts the forces that have shaped this generation - being raised by Baby Boomer parents, growing up reading Harry Potter stories, and being burdened with college debt. This is the generation that has grown up with school shootings, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, disastrous weather events brought about by climate change and social movements such as Black Lives Matter and Occupy Wall Street. She tells the stories of how these individuals got started in local and national politics and contrasts their approaches with those of entrenched leaders in both the Democratic and Republican parties. The book gave this Baby Boomer a much better understanding of the appeal of Bernie Sanders and gives me hope for our political future. I can't recommend it highly enough. 5 stars doesn't seem a enough rating for the book overall. I rated the performance of the book a "4" because Charlotte Alter reads it a little fast, I slowed the audio down to 75% speed to better absorb the data she shares.

15 people found this helpful

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  • Mark Stein
  • 02-05-20

Awful

Narration was terrible (too fast) & I personally as a "Boomer", am really tired of being blamed for everything. Now old white men - that's a different story.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Derek C Wall
  • 05-05-20

This book will only work in 2019

After listening to this book I am disappointed that I spent so much time on it. It's repetitive, I feel like most of this book could have been wrapped up in about 2 hours. But the author keeps repeating the same stories and using similar or the same wording. Oh my, the wording... it's all about what is the hot word at the time of writing. I wonder if someone has counted how many times the author uses "boomer" I don't think a biography on Boomer Esiasson uses boomer as much. I was looking for inspiration on our future, this is not it.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Chaz
  • 02-03-20

Excellent insight into the Millennial mindset.

Well written and well read. The Millennial generation and the next may redeem us all.

5 people found this helpful

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  • SueyPie
  • 07-03-20

Hopeful

This book was informative, entertaining and educational. It also gave me great hope for our future as a Country.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Stamatios H. Varias
  • 20-03-20

Excellent for Understanding of the Generations

I love this book so much that I ordered three copies for my wife and twin 14 year olds. We’re going to read a chapter a day and discuss what we read. School is on hold due to the Corona Virus.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Jesse Manchester
  • 05-04-20

a Solid but Redundant Review of Current History

It was a good review of the current political context. However, it reported on things that much of the audience likely libed through in real time. It does bring to the light the slow moving takeover of the Millinial Majority Movement. Hopefully history will look at this in retrospect book better than I did. it can serve as a good reference for when Millenials began to shift voting and policy..in maybe 10 or 15 years.

1 person found this helpful