Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Golden Age: November 9, 1989 to September 1, 2001

In our home it's a short hop from planning a bathroom remodeling to the history of uncertainty in medieval and modern eras to the shadow of The Last American Golden Age, an era when the world felt predictable and the future was bright.

When was that golden age? It wasn't, Emily and I decided, exactly the 1990s. It began with the fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9th, 1989. It ended, of course, on September 11, 2001. So the Golden Age for modern America lasted almost 12 years.

Future historians won't agree. They'll say it's all too neat. Falling walls and towers bookmarking a millennial decade -- it's a cliche.

The cliche doesn't stop there. The seeds of the whitewater worldthe Net and the rise of the China and India, world were planted then. Seeds of doom planted even at the peak of power?! Come on. Nobody would write that story.

But that's what happened. Reality doesn't worry about cliche.

Update 4/18/11: I had a typo in the title. Fixed.

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