The Lyric Generation: The Life and Times of the Baby Boomers


266 pages
Contains Index
ISBN 0-7737-5684-1
DDC 306'.09'04




Translated by Donald Winkler
Reviewed by Janet Arnett

Janet Arnett is the former campus manager of adult education at Ontario’s Georgian College. She is the author of Antiques and Collectibles: Starting Small, The Grange at Knock, and 673 Ways to Save Money.



This book is not about the Baby Boomers as usually defined, but rather
the leading edge of that group. Ricard’s focus is on those born
between 1945 and 1950, the first of the Baby Boomers and, he feels, a
distinct subgroup, which he names the “lyric generation.” His label
for this group arises from his perception of it as favored, enchanted,
untouched by the problems other generations must face. To Ricard, this
group was “born at the dawn of the world,” entering a world of
“brightness” and “lightness.” Everything fell into place for
these early Boomers: when they were children, childhood became a
treasured state; when they entered school, the educational system was
reformed for their benefit; when they were ready to work, ample jobs
were available; when they entered middle age, political systems fell
into line, giving priority to their issues (property values, health
care, and so on).

The lyric generation turned 20 during the 1960s and created a new life
stage, a time between adolescence and adulthood. This was the age of
hippies and flower children, of self-expression, personal affirmation,
protests, and the invention of rock music.

The work draws heavily on Quebec for examples, reviewing the Quiet
Revolution of the Duplessis government and the climate of unrest in
Quebec universities in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Stylistically,
the book is flat (this might be the result of the translation) and
somewhat rambling. It is too light to have much interest for
sociologists, yet it lacks the zip needed to catch the interest of the
general public. The result is interesting insights, entombed in prose
that’s the antithesis of lyric.


Ricard, François., “The Lyric Generation: The Life and Times of the Baby Boomers,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 28, 2024,