I picture the author muttering something along the lines of "Those damned Baby Boomers; it's because of those post-civic cohorts that we're all going to hell in a handbasket now!"
I somehow also wonder if Putnam is thinking along the lines of "What this country needs is another Good War, or Depression!" to strengthen community and galvanize civic engagement. (Should we call this much-needed civic revitalization the Saguaro Cactus approach? See p. 509).
Excuse my sarcasm, but I just finished the book, and I'm very tired.