Stories of Elders: What the Greatest Generation Knows About Technology that You Don’t

The mission of this book is to record a narrative of the past century as experienced by the Greatest Generation, the changes our country has seen, and the effects of technology on our society and youth — specifically to bridge that ever-widening gap.

— Veronica Kirin

America’s Greatest Generation has witnessed the onset of an incredible evolution of technology and social progress. From mere entertainment to life-changing advances, technology has changed the way we live, work, and identify. Sadly, with each passing year, fewer of members of the Greatest Generation are still alive to share their wisdom as the final generation to grow up before the digital revolution.

Stories of Elders preserves the wisdom, thoughts, humor, knowledge, and advice of the people who make up one of America’s finest generations, including the Silent Generation. These fascinating people not only experienced rapid social and technological advancements but also devastation in their daily world. Major historical events like World War I, the Dust Bowl, the Great Depression, and World War II shaped their youth and molded their lives.

Author and cultural anthropologist Veronica Kirin traveled more than 11,000 miles across the United States in 2015 to interview the last living members of the Greatest Generation, each one born before 1945. Stories of Elders is the culmination of her years of work to capture these uniquely personal stories in the form of a book that will store their perspective for generations to come.

The Greatest Generation saw the routine use of airplanes, cars, microwave ovens, telephones, radios, and the internet come to fruition in their lifetimes. Many spent portions of their lives without electricity, using kerosene lamps for light. Their childhoods were simple, relying on outdoors games and imagination for their fun. How they went to school, pursued their careers, and raised their kids was radically different compared to today.

New generations, more than ever, look to the exciting future for guidance instead of the stories of our last living elders. By chronicling more than 8,000 years of life lived during the most transitional time in American history, Stories of Elders offers old-fashioned insight no other book can.

About the Author

Veronica Kirin is an Anthropologist and Entrepreneur.  She has a passion for telling stories of all kinds, whether in business, lectures, or print.

Kirin didn’t have the chance to hear her own grandparents’ stories.  Instead, she has had the chance to cherish the stories of other elders.  Her immersion in tech at her company GreenCup Website Services gave her the unique perspective that created this project — people her age and younger don’t seem to connect with their country’s past.  In fact, it’s becoming harder and harder for them to relate to.  They’ve never known anything but a hi-fi lifestyle.

It is Kirin’s Anthropological instinct to study changes in social structure through people that drove her to write a book on the topic through the eyes of the Greatest Generation.  Stories of Elders will preserve our history and tech’s evolution for generations to come.