The 2000s: Selling the Apocalypse, Now

For much of the last century, American social history could be broken down into decades. The Eisenhower-values '50s segued into the '60s youth revolt, the '70s malaise, the '80s exuberance, and ultimately the '90s granola-fueled quest to fix the world. Such generalizations usually take a few years to crystallize, but one thing is already clear about the 2000s: This was the decade when the apocalypse went on sale.