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Neil Howe (born October 21, 1951) is an American author, historian and consultant. He is best known for his work with William Strauss on social generations regarding a theorized generational cycle in American history. Howe is currently the managing director of demography at Hedgeye and he is president of Saeculum Research and LifeCourse Associates, consulting companies he founded with Strauss to apply Strauss-Howe generational theory. He is also a senior associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies' Global Aging Initiative, and a senior advisor to the Concord Coalition.
Howe was born in Santa Monica, California. His grandfather was the astronomer Robert Julius Trumpler. His father was a physicist and his mother was a professor of occupational therapy. He attended high school in Palo Alto, California, and earned a BA in English Literature at U.C. Berkeley in 1972. He studied abroad in France and Germany, and later earned graduate degrees in economics (M.A., 1978) and history (M.Phil., 1979) from Yale University.
After receiving his degrees, Howe worked in Washington, D.C., as a public policy consultant on global aging, long-term fiscal policy, and migration. His positions have included advisor on public policy to the Blackstone Group, policy advisor to the Concord Coalition, and senior associate for the Global Aging Initiative at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).
During the 1990s, Howe developed a second career as an author, historian and pop sociologist, examining how generational differences shape attitudes, behaviors, and the course of history. He has since written nine books on social generations, mostly with William Strauss. In 1997 Strauss and Howe founded LifeCourse Associates, a publishing, speaking, and consulting company built on their generational theory. As president of LifeCourse, Howe currently provides marketing, personnel, and government affairs consulting to corporate and nonprofit clients, and writes and speaks about the collective personalities of today’s generations.
Howe has written a number of non-academic books on generational trends. He is best known for his books with William Strauss on generations in American history. These include Generations (1991) and The Fourth Turning (1997) which examine historical generations and describe a theorized cycle of recurring mood eras in American History (now described as the Strauss-Howe generational theory). The book made a deep impression on Steve Bannon, who wrote and directed Generation Zero (2010), a Citizens United Productions film on the book's theory, prior to his becoming White House Chief Strategist.
Howe and Strauss also co-authored 13th Gen (1993) about Generation X, and Millennials Rising (2000) about the Millennial Generation. Eric Hoover has called the authors pioneers in a burgeoning industry of consultants, speakers and researchers focused on generations. He wrote a critical piece about the concept of "generations" and the "Millennials" (a term coined by Strauss and Howe) for the Chronicle of Higher Education. Michael Lind offered his critique of Howe's book "Generations" for The New York Times Book Review.
Howe has written a number of application books with Strauss about the Millennials’ impact on various sectors, including Millennials Go to College (2003, 2007), Millennials and the Pop Culture (2006), and Millennials and K-12 Schools (2008). After Strauss died in 2007, Howe authored Millennials in the Workplace (2010).
In 1988, he coauthored On Borrowed Time with Peter G. Peterson, one of the early calls for budgetary reform (the book was reissued 2004). Since the late 1990s, Howe has also coauthored a number of academic studies published by CSIS, including the Global Aging Initiative’s Aging Vulnerability Index and The Graying of the Middle Kingdom: The Economics and Demographics of Retirement Policy in China. In 2008, he co-authored The Graying of the Great Powers with Richard Jackson.
- On Borrowed Time (1988)
- Generations (1991)
- 13th-GEN (1993)
- The Fourth Turning (1997)
- Global Aging: The Challenge of the Next Millennium (1999)
- Millennials Rising (2000)
- The 2003 Aging Vulnerability Index (2003)
- Millennials Go To College (2003, 2007)
- The Graying of the Middle Kingdom (2004)
- Millennials and the Pop Culture (2005)
- Long-Term Immigration Projection Methods (2006)
- Millennials and K-12 Schools (2008)
- The Graying of the Great Powers (2008)
- Millennials in the Workplace (2010)
- Howe, Neil. "Profile". LinkedIn. Retrieved 4 October 2010.
- Howe, Neil; Jackson, Richard; Rebecca Strauss; Keisuke Nakashima (2008). The Graying of the Great Powers. Center for Strategic and International Studies. p. 218. ISBN 978-0-89206-532-5.
- "Neil Howe". Center for Strategic and International Studies. Archived from the original on 2010-10-08. Retrieved 4 October 2010.
- "Millennials Rising: The Next Great Generation". Publisher Weekly. Retrieved 8 February 2017.
- Howe, Neil; Strauss, William (1991). Generations:The History of America's Future 1584-2069. New York: William Morrow and Company. ISBN 0-688-08133-9.
- Howe, Neil; Strauss, William (1997). The Fourth Turning. New York: Broadway Books. ISBN 0-7679-0046-4.
- Peters, Jeremy W. (9 April 2017). "Bannon's Views Can Be Traced to a Book That Warns, 'Winter Is Coming'". The New York Times. p. A20. Retrieved 13 April 2017.
- Howe, Neil; Strauss, William (1993). 13th Gen: Abort, Retry, Ignore, Fail?. New York: Vintage Print. ISBN 0-679-74365-0.
- Howe, Neil; Strauss, William (2000). Millennials Rising. New York: Vintage Books. ISBN 0-375-70719-0.
- Hoover, Eric (2009-10-11). "The Millennial Muddle: How stereotyping students became a thriving industry and a bundle of contradictions". The Chronicle of Higher Education. The Chronicle of Higher Education, Inc. Retrieved 2011-01-11.
- Michael Lind (January 26, 1997). "Generation Gaps". The New York Times Book Review. Retrieved 1 November 2010.
- Howe, Neil; Reena Nadler (2010). Millennials in the Workplace. LifeCourse Associates. p. 246. ISBN 978-0-9712606-4-1.