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The Longevity Project: Surprising Discoveries for Health and Long Life from the Landmark Eight-Decade S tudy Paperback – February 28, 2012
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From Publishers Weekly
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
"I recommend you read the book." — Katherine Bouton, The New York Times
"A remarkable achievement with surprising conclusions." — Andrew Weil, M.D.
Top Customer Reviews
The text is filled with numerous abbreviated self-assessment questionnaires to give the reader an idea of what the original subjects had to answer. I found the book generally informative and definitely written for the lay person, but also somewhat subjective in many of the conclusions reached. The trouble with all self-assessment questionnaires is that they are biased in giving the view of the assessee, rather than an outside observer.
The main idea behind the book is that there is no one particular thing that leads to longevity, but that it is simply a result of some genetics modified by lifestyle choices which are less challenging than those dangerous decisions made by some living closer to the edge [as choosing to smoke or use illicit drugs]. In other words, it was the totality of things done during a lifetime rather than anyone thing that might cause someone to live to be a hundred.
The authors determined that the best CHILDHOOD PREDICTOR of longevity was CONSCIENTIOUSNESS, the trait of being dependable and following through on life goals, as they defined it. They also felt that good health leads to happiness and longevity rather than happiness leading to good health.
Here is a partial list of some things the authors felt were true:
1. Although breast feeding is good for the baby's health it does not of itself lead to a longer lifespan.
2.Read more ›
In spite of huge amounts of data, only interpretations of it were passed on to us. We are repeatedly told "many" or "some" or "other participants" or... Every page has one or more such imprecise words but we are not given even simple percentages. Is "many" 52% or 89%, or what? It would have been so easy to specify. I can think of no good reason not to have given this more precise information to the reader.
Next, very little effort was made to help interpret the results of the "tests" we took. Or even to say why not. It sounds like their validity was good. But reliability? If they didn't have decent norms, why give them to us? If they did, why didn't they give us more information, such as intercorrelations or cluster analysis?
Then, they sidestepped the issue of gay/straight, by saying Terman stayed away from this. Ah, but they didn't have to. Even with no "hard" data, they might have grouped the "not married" subjects with the converse male/female ratings, done some analyses and made some guesses. And had a second sample of the converse male /female ratings with divorced subjects. This might have been fascinating data. These presumed-subjects preceded gay liberation by many years - what was it like for them in terms of longevity, happiness, etc.? I find it very hard to believe that there weren't any gays in this study, and even a guessed-at small sample, with all the caveats the researchers wanted to add, might have been interesting.
The researchers were very bright people; their subjects were top-of-the-line. So why do they write as if the reader hadn't gotten past the 8th grade?Read more ›
It is rare that I read a book cover to cover as I am very busy with my business. But this book I got very personally involved with. Though written by someone with a strong academic background, he wrote it so that a working guy like myself could enjoy it. It is a great book to share with your friends and open up discussion about lifestyle choices and the wisdom or lack of wisdom around those choices. I also believe it may cause people in the health professions to rethink the combination of life skills and attributes for a better life. Educators should put the findings of this book to use restructuring programs based on skills associated with steadiness, responsibility and moderation.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book provides us with aspects of life related to long life. The authors suggest how we can optimistically live in such a way as to increase our life span- appropriate diet,... Read morePublished 2 months ago by William M. Cross
While the information is interesting--it was not as educational as I had expected. Possibly, I was expecting the wrong thing from this book.Published 6 months ago by Peggy McKelvey
Interesting study but i'm not sure if people will be able to apply any of it specifically to their own situation since health and living a long time is such a complex thing and... Read morePublished 7 months ago by thirdtwin
Not an easy read and I don't have time to study it as if I'm in a college class. The language is accessible but just takes too long to get to the initial findings of the study. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Michael Leon Bryson
Purchased for a college class that I thoroughly enjoyed. Good read.Published 11 months ago by Lance G.
Careful not to confuse correlation with causation. Also, the subjects - often referred to as the "Termites" - were all selected because they have high IQ's. Read morePublished 12 months ago by SueDonym