For years I’ve lamented the Baby Boomers’ hold on politics and culture. I was arguing for my generation – Generation X – to have a shot at the presidency before the 2012 election, and it’s easy to look back at the last five presidential terms to see what Baby Boomers in power have given us.

The Boomers have also given us the sexual revolution, rebellion for its own sake, and declining church attendance and religious adherence. The “do what makes you happy” ethos of the Boomer generation has led to countless ruined lives in the pursuit of selfishness.

Don’t get me wrong: I don’t want to paint all Boomers with too broad a brush. My mom is a Baby Boomer who didn’t fall into the trap that Boomers in power seemed to (I just found out that my late father doesn’t qualify as a Boomer because he was born one year too early), and I have plenty of family members and friends who seem to have their heads on straight.

For years, the Baby Boom generation was the most idealistic group of people. Think of the hippies and the earnest middle-aged politicians who sought to transform the world. Did they? Yes, but not in ways that you’d think.

Writer Helen Andrews eviscerates the liberal Boomers in her new book Boomers: The Men and Women Who Promised Freedom and Delivered Disaster. It’s a quick read – or listen, in my case, since I bought the Audible edition. Andrews takes the tack of Lytton Strachey’s Eminent Victorians and profiled a set of prominent Boomers to peek into the legacy that this generation left on the world.

To prove her point, Andrews doesn’t go for the low-hanging fruit like Bill Clinton, Bernadine Dohrn, or Madonna; instead, she examines the life and legacy of Steve Jobs (technology), Aaron Sorkin (entertainment), Jeffrey Sachs (finance), Camille Paglia (academia), Al Sharpton (politics) and Sonia Sotomayor (law) to show us what the Boomers have wrought.

Certain anecdotes stick out to demonstrate the sheer power that these boomers have on society. Andrews relates the story that several Obama administration staffers wanted to know when they had to submit their resignations before the second term began. When they researched, they found no precedent. It turns out that the resigning-and-rehiring process for White House staff came from an episode of The West Wing, demonstrating the power of television.

Andrews also tells of how Justice Sonia Sotomayor tends to interrupt during arguments before the Supreme Court. In one case, Sotomayor interrupted 58 times in 80 minutes. For her, it’s more important to be heard than to listen. To hear Andrews tell her story, Sotomayor doesn’t come across as a terribly nice person.

The Boomers that Andrews writes about tend to have particular personal issues that drive them in their careers. Steve Jobs was adopted, and the insecurity of being given up by his birth mother led him to thirst for power. Sonia Sotomayor never feels like she belongs wherever she is, so the grievances of minorities flavor her approach to jurisprudence.

Other personal quirks characterize these Boomers. Jeffrey Sachs can see the failures of his efforts, but he neither takes responsibility nor apologizes for them. Camille Paglia cheapens academia with her focus on pop culture as opposed to high culture. The desire for transformational rather than transactional leadership on the part of Al Sharpton leads him to aim high and fall spellbindingly short so often.

Unfortunately, I don’t think these types of behavior are the sole domain of the Left. Donald Trump’s tantrum over losing the election smacks of Boomerism, as does Louie Gohmert’s political theatre – a sort of older, right-leaning Abbie Hoffman. And so much of the post-election conspiracy speculation I see is coming from that generation.

Andrews wraps up her study by looking at Millennials. As much as they claim to rage against – and even make fun of – the Boomer generation, they resemble Boomers far too closely. Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter are this generation’s Yippies and Students for a Democratic Society. Congressional leaders like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez take an all-or-nothing approach that mimics the counterculture’s scorched-earth brand of rhetoric.

At the end of the day, the Boomers’ biggest legacy begins with idealism and loads of good intentions, but it ended with a mess. I don’t see any atonement for that legacy happening any time soon.