Will Your Generation be the Next Great Generation? The Strauss-Howe generational theory, created by historians William Strauss and Neil Howe, identifies a recurring generational cycle in American history. According to this theory, events in society shape each generation’s collective attitudes and values. Each generation lasts about 20 years which also coincides with the four phases of an average lifetime (childhood, young adulthood, midlife, old age). Strauss and Howe have identified four types of generations which they call prophet, nomad, hero, and artist. According to their theory, the greatest generation was a “hero” generation, followed by the baby boomers which were a “nomad” generation, followed by generation x which was an “artist” generation. Then came generation “Y” (also known as the millenials or echo boomers) which was a “prophet” generation. This means that the next generation will be a HERO GENERATION. The authors have traced this cycle back to 1584 and projected the cycles through 2069.