From Publishers Weekly
Armageddon looms thanks to increasing longevity, according to this fretful jeremiad. Fishman (China, Inc.) visits a number of locales--luxury retirement communities in Sarasota, Fla.; the rust-belt city of Rockford, Ill.; a village in Spain; Beijing--and everywhere finds a skyrocketing population over 65 with attendant problems: soaring medical costs, overwhelmed caretakers and government pension systems, and oldsters who feel sad and neglected. Fishman weaves these findings with all manner of demographic, economic, and cultural discontents, including plummeting birth rates, environmental degradation, underpaid immigrants, American industrial decline, globalization, and outlandish teen fashions. Unfortunately, conflating all this under the rubric of aging's "shockwave" obscures more than it reveals; while focusing on an unsolvable existential predicament--you can't keep people from aging--Fishman avoids investigating solutions to specific problems he raises, which are mainly issues of trade, industrial policy, and economic inequality, not necessarily longevity.
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"Far-reaching and highly relevant...[with] a fast pace, global scope and jaw-dropping facts...Fishman has a keen ear...and he motors enjoyably through a huge quantity of date and anecdotes, sending out provocative flares along the way." -New York Times Book Review
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"Readers should consider its messages and economic implications. What do we really want for ourselves, as individuals and a nation, as we age....The true mission of "Shock of Gray" is a...call to confront the demographic drama now unfolding in many middle- and high-income countries, not to proffer solutions." -Los Angeles Times
“Who would’ve thought that America’s aging population has spurred globalization? Ted Fishman’s exciting book–a series of stories really–knocked me off balance as I learned what’s in store for us as the world’s populace grows older and older. The observations in Shock of Gray are not just revelatory but profound.” -Alex Kotlowitz
"In 20 years, there will be 1 billion people over the age of 65, and China Inc.'s Ted Fishman has found the current examples that, along with an inexhaustible supply of demographic trends, illustrate the knotty-and at times terrifying-issues of global aging that await us. A must-read for young and old alike." - Fast Company
"The Chicago journalist behind China, Inc. is back with an investigation that’s both timely and terrifying. The subtitle—“The Aging of the World’s Population and How it Pits Young Against Old, Child Against Parent, Worker Against Boss, Company Against Rival, and Nation Against Nation”—says it all. (Though with his characteristic smarts, Fishman says it with a lot more nuance.)" -NewCityLit.com