The Fourth Turning: An American Prophecy Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. What effect does the authors' immediate statement of the theme have?

The authors immediately tell readers that this book "turns history into prophesy." The effect of this promise is to set expectations very high. Readers believe this book holds promise and will provide insight for their lives. It is a bold statement.

2. How did people behave when the book was written?

The authors wrote the book in 1997 and people were uneasy, aimless and adrift. People were uncomfortable and wanted something to change. Now that we know the time period, we can see that September 11 happened and a new government took control. People wanted change.

3. What do the authors say are the problems with chaotic and linear time?

Chaotic time is history has no path, but the authors clearly believe events have a path. Linear time sees gradual progress extending forever into the future. Both chaotic and linear time have problems, as they do not provide people with success or control in the futures.

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