Pendulum: How Past Generations Shape Our Present and Predict Our Future


As a matter of disclosure I received a copy of this book to review as a core reviewer for the 12 Books Group. The expectation is that I will participate in the discussion on Goodreads and post my review on Amazon, Goodreads, my blog and other pages.

I am always leery of a book where the number of endorsement pages vastly outnumbers the number of note pages for the chapters and the index for the book. Unfortunately, this book by Roy H. Williams and Michael R. Drew lived down to my expectations.

The premise of the book is that history repeats itself (not a new concept) by swinging like a pendulum (fairly new approach) on an approximate 40 year cycle arching between We and Me. Among the weaknesses in the book is the author admitting that he had been making presentations on this approach with the focus being on the United States. One of the purposes of the book was to broaden it to a worldwide analysis. Sadly, the focus of the book is still overwhelmingly the United States.

Another weakness of the book is the inconsistency in the use of data to support the premise. As an example, the authors use songs from certain time periods to support their ideas. In some cases they are the top five songs of a year,  in others just the top song for a year and still in others just random popular songs during a given year. In additon, I found there choice of what songs in a top 100 were Rock and Roll and those that weren’t intersting as they skipped over Rock and Roll songs (designated as non-Rock and Roll) because the lyrics don’t support their theory.

Another weakness was that it was to cover 3,000 years of history at a 3,000 foot level, but focused primarily on the last 100 years at a 3 foot level. Finally, the authors have a penchant for qouting themselves throughout the book (something else I find annoying – I know that they wrote the book).

You will enjoy this book if you don’t pay attention to the preface, are unfamiliar with the time periods and facts used as support for the authors premise and a looking for a once over lightly book on the fact that history repeats itself.


About caseywheeler

My interests include: Model trains, Reading, Genealogy, New York Yankees and helping organizations be successful.
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