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BOOM! – Episode 1: 1968 Born to be wild

Why are two old, unpopular men the main candidates for the world’s most demanding job? It’s the question John Prideaux, The Economist’s US editor, gets asked the most. And the answer lies in the peculiar politics of the baby boomers.

The generation born in the 1940s grew up in a land of endless growth and possibility, ruled by a confident, moderate elite. But just as they were embarking on adult life, all that started to come apart. The economy faltered, and the post-war consensus came under pressure from two sides: from the radical right, who hated government moves on civil rights – and from the ‘New Left’, as boomers rebelled against their parents' generation and its war in Vietnam.

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