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94 of 99 people found the following review helpful
This book is according to Sherwin Nuland written primarily for those in their fifties and sixties. Nuland hopes to instruct them on how to wisely age. Physical exercise, maintaining a network of close personal relationships, and being 'creative' ( In the broadest sense of the term) is at the heart of his prescription. Nuland is upbeat about the prospect that we can by focusing on what we are really good at, what gives us real pleasure improve the quality of our lives in Old Age. Nuland gives examples of people who do function remarkably well in advanced old age, such as the legendary surgeon Michael deBakey who was still operating at the age of ninety- seven.

Some of the reviewers of the book I have seen including the outstanding Joseph Epstein have said that Nuland at points is platitudinous, and preachy. They say he at certain points ceases being the sharp, perceptive first - rate observer he was in his earlier award- winning book, "The Way We Die"

But in my understanding Nuland is balanced, humane and realistic throughout this work. For instance, in one interesting section he counters the proposal of a scientist working to eliminate death. Nuland makes a strong argument that the death of the individual serves the well- being of the species, and its survival.

It seems to me to anyone interested in growing old in the best way possible would do well to read this book..
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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on May 6, 2007
I just turned 65 and had this book brought to my attention. There are few instruction books to follow at this age. Each change that takes place in your body and your mind is often scary and occasionally misunderstood. Dr. Nuland compassionately decribes a variety of both "Superoldfolks" and normal old folks. He puts their lives into perspective through science and "beliefs". He proposes what the future may bring to the aging process. For this reader, he took much of the fear I have in regard the future and replaced it with hope and direction.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who has reached 65 and doesn't fully understand what to expect will happen to them from now until their passing.
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on March 31, 2007
Dr. Nuland has authored an excellent guide to extending ones life. At first glance, I thought this book would offer substantial how to guidance on nutrition, exercise, and other physical life extending practices. I was pleased to discover that Dr. Nuland explores a wide array of discoveries concerned with the social practices that truly make one "alive".

Chief among these life giving/extending practices, are the intrinsic rewards offered to those who, in some way, live for the benefit of others. My heart resonated with the stories of people who by serving others have found purpose and therefore life. This book makes a great birthday gift for anyone who is on or is beginning his or her later life journey. It causes one to reflect on the fascinating adventures that could be in store for those who ponder the possibilities of an extraordinary purpose filled life.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on March 29, 2007
Dr. Nuland has provided persuasive evidence for his thesis that aging is developmental and not a disease. Therefore, the process is responsive to management by continuing vigorous physical exercise, creative effort, and nurturing of intimate friendships. Extension of a high quality of life, even in the event of serious illness or other limiting medical problems, is possible for those of us who will make the effort. I recommend this book to all readers who are willing to keep an open mind about the possibility of changing, even into great age.
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32 of 39 people found the following review helpful
on March 3, 2007
Over a decade ago, Dr. Nuland wrote a brilliant "How We Die" in his attempt to demystify death. Now he is attempting the same goal with aging in his current book. There is the same clinical descriptions of the body along with brief biographies of those aging well. The author could have used a more forceful editor as the writing is occasionally over the top but never dull. Overall, an excellent thought-provoking read.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on March 30, 2007
Excellent book! A step above many others of it's ilk. philosophy and ideas rather than just how to. Nuland is a wise man.
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22 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on March 29, 2007
I had greatly admired Nuland's book "How we die" so when the "Art of Aging" was released I was one of the first to purchase it. The book started out with a dramatic story of a risky encounter that 72 year old Nuland had on a subway and since I am also 72, the author had my full attention. Unfortunately, the book went downhill a bit from that point on. Some sections were very informative but others were much too wordy. I found myself wishing that Nuland's editor had taken on a more assertive role in shortening and in some cases rewriting certain passages. Overall, the book didn't quite meet my high expectations.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Physician author Sherwin Nuland offers case studies of successful aging in this insightful and well-written book. Nuland has a gift for language and is as skillful with the words as he is with a scalpel. We see vignettes of aging individuals who have made accommodations to father time. The chapter on Dr. Michael Debakey is fascinating and alone worth the time investment.

Nuland avoids any preachiness and he does not offer a cranky view of the aging process. What he suggests - exercise, diet, sound habits, deep relationships, meaningful work - are not exactly things we haven't heard before but they are presented persuasively here.

Those facing middle age and older will find practicality within these pages and an outline of strategies that might not make you live any longer, but will certainly help you squeeze more life out of the time that is left us!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
The first chapters are excellent and then it went down hill for me. Less credible or valuable in insight towards the last of the book.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on March 7, 2008
This book offers no new insights biologically or philosophically for living through the final years of life. It reads like something from Parade magazine. It's not even a 1-star rating, but a zero star is not available. The material presented is trite, banal, hackneyed(I know these terms are essentially synonymous, but I employ them for emphasis.) Look elsewhere for received wisdom regarding living through old age. I am 58 years old and am entering my later years. From all the glowing cover blurbs I anticipated there might be some food for thought within. Just junk food.
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