Book Review – The Fourth Turning

The Fourth Turning: What the Cycles of History Tell Us about America’s Next Rendezvous with Destiny

by William StraussNeil Howe

So for week one, I cheated a little as Id been reading this book since November but I make no apologies for that. Its a book with its own website ( and is one I found out about whilst watching a YouTube video ( featuring Raoul Pal and Robert Breedlove. Its a powerful video on its own and one which I recommend you watch but as to the book, it did not fail to impress although not as much as I’d hoped it would.

The premise of the book is that the human race, demographically and socially exists to a meta level cyclical beat and that the beat, which repeats itself every 80-100 years and is known as a saeculum among other things, contains four generations of the human lifecycle. Indeed, it carries THE four generations of the human lifecycle, pueritia, iuventus, virilitas and senectus.

The book presents a fascinating description of the history of humanity going back to late medieval times against this context and does so quite persuasively. In doing so it categorises the generations of human society within a saeculum as four stereotypes namely prophet, nomad, hero and artist. It also defines the four parts of a saeculum as societal high, awakening, unravelling and crisis.

There is much about this book that is speculative, indeed at times it felt a bit like reading a horoscope but the underlying premise is fascinating and has merit. Whilst the speculation seemed to detract from the book somewhat and it could probably have been written in 60% of the word count, I’d recommend it as a 3.5 out of 5.

Happy New Year 2022

So its 2022. Another year gone and a new one already driven off the forecourt. New year means new start and so we typically resolve to do things differently at this watershed moment in the year with a resolution. Im old enough now to know the pattern of behaviour I usually demonstrate with this act and its rarely a successful one. The best laid plans of mice and men…. But last year, I thankfully succeeded. I resolved to remove the booze from my life for the full year whilst getting fit by dropping my BMI from over 35 to under 25, and thankfully I succeeded.

So, fresh from the end of year splurge, newly invigorated and a little heavier again, I’ve made a new resolution. It builds upon the success of last year although Ill need a couple of weeks to undo the splurge and this year the theme is to S T R E T C H myself.

I feel like my weight/fitness issue is thankfully now under control so by way of capitalising on my new fitness, I want to move on to the next phase and stretch my mind as well as my body.

A few years ago I read nearly a hundred books in a year. My goal was to hit the hundred and I fell short but it was truly a wonderful experience for mind, body and soul. I’ve always been aware of the value of books and have always striven to read more than I do however usually that sentiment just results in a persistent guilt that I don’t. So this year the target is simple. Read one book per week, every week and to keep me honest I’ll write a review here on my blog of each book I read.

Secondly, another area I’ve known I should do better at is in physical stretching. I simply have never really done it at all apart perhaps grudgingly at the start of a run because everybody around me was doing it. So again, this year I resolve to stretch once a day and maybe throw in some floor exercises if the mood takes me. I’ll blog about it too, although perhaps a bit less regularly.

So there it is. A commitment in digital black and white. Watch this space for progress and growth.

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