By People Staff
April 10, 2000 12:00 PM

by Michael Gross

Can one writer make sense of “fifty years of sex, drugs, rock, revolution, glamour, greed, valor, faith, and silicon chips,” as this history of Americans born between 1941 and 1963 is subtitled, in a single (albeit hefty) book? Journalist Gross, 47, author of the bestselling Model: The Ugly Business of Beautiful Women, gives it the old boomer try. Focusing on 19 figures—from Donald Trump to spiritual guru Marianne Williamson—Gross concludes that some fundamentals haven’t changed since the idealistic ’60s: The Internet is simply one more way of giving “power to the people,” while an obsession with prolonging youth is “a hedge against the ultimate authority, mortality.”

Gross’s reach here exceeds his grasp. His attempt to catalog an entire era gives the text a perfunctory feel, and he often drops people’s stories just when they get involving. Still, tidbits like this do liven things up: “I didn’t look favorably upon [hippies],” mogul Trump tells Gross, cause they were always very dirty.” (HarperCollins, $25)

Bottom Line: Talkirr ’bout his generation a little too much