Stories of Elders

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A book review of Stories of Elders: What the Greatest Generation Knows About Technology That You Don’t by Veronica Kirin

A book review of Stories of Elders: What the Greatest Generation Knows About Technology That You Don't by Veronica Kirin

Stars: *****

Identity Publications (2018)
Cultural Anthropology
320 pages

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This post contains affiliate links.

Summary: In 2015, Millennial author and cultural anthropologist Veronica Kirin drove 12,000 miles across more than 40 states to interview the last living members of the Greatest Generation. Stories of Elders is the result of her years of work to capture and share their perspective for generations to come.

Stories of Elders preserves the wisdom, thoughts, humor, knowledge, and advice of the people who make up one of America’s finest generations, including the Silent Generation. Their stories include the devastation that came from major events in U.S. history like World War I, the Dust Bowl, the Great Depression, and World War II.

The Greatest Generation (many of whom are now centenarians) saw the routine use of airplanes, cars, microwave ovens, telephones, radios, electricity, and the Internet come to fruition in their lifetimes. Their childhoods were simple, relying on outdoor games and their imagination for fun. How they went to school, pursued their careers, and raised their kids was radically different than the way we live today.

By chronicling more than 8,000 years of life lived during the most transitional time in American history, Stories of Elders offers old-fashioned wisdom and insight for America’s future generations.

Stories of Elders

Wow! It was so amazing to read what those age 80+ have to say about technological advances from their childhood till now. There are stories of life lived during wars and the Great Depression. There are stories about getting a car for the first time, a telephone for the first time, and running water for the first time.

The author interviewed tons of older Seniors, including some over age 100. She shared what they had to say and brought them together into general categories. Such categories include Communication, War, Rights, Transportation, Work, Medicine, Food, Money, Safety, Family and more.

I enjoyed this book so much that I want to share parts of it with my children. I plan to read parts of the elder’s stories to my children over the next few months. I want them to imagine a life where you couldn’t just text your friend, or easily travel to a distant country, or order something from across the ocean and have it arrive a week later.

The most interesting part though, is reading about the technology of old. The early washing machines, when X-rays were new, typewriters, party lines. There is even a story of when they got electricity to the house for the first time, some friends were afraid to come over because they were afraid the electricity would sneak out of the circuits and get them.

I HIGHLY recommend this book to everyone 59 and younger.

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About Kathleen

I've been a nonfiction lover for as long as I can remember. I love children's nonfiction as well and love to share my knowledge and the books I gained them from, with the world. I wish more people would give nonfiction a chance.