Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The Making of an Elder Culture: Reflections on the Future of America's Most Audacious Generation Paperback – September 1, 2009
|New from||Used from|
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
The Making of an Elder Culture reminds the boomers of the creative role they once played in our society, and of the moral and intellectual resources they have to draw upon for radical transformation in their later years. Seeing the experience of aging as a revolution in consciousness, it predicts an "elder insurgency" where boomers return to take up what they left undone in their youth. Freed from competitive individualism, military-industrial bravado, and the careerist rat race, who better is there to forge a compassionate economy? Who better positioned not only to demand Social Security and Medicare for themselves, but to champion "Entitlements for Everyone"? Fusing the green, the gray and the just, Eldertown can be an achievable, truly sustainable future.
Part demographic study, part history; part critique and part appeal, Roszak's take on the imminent transformation of our world is as wise as it is inspired-and utterly appealing.
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
However there are also problems. Roszak assumes that the older population will effectively mature and grow wise and compassionate. However, it's by no means clear this will happen. Research shows that there is unfortunately little correlation between age and wisdom. A survey of golf clubs and retirement homes suggests that the elders are a mixed population, which is hardly surprising. One hopes Roszak is right, but it is not clear if this is more than a hope.
The book is marred by an unnecessarily aggressive tone towards conservatives. This is not to say that many of Roszak's arguments against conservative views are wrong; some of his arguments seem right. However, one would hope for a wiser, more compassionate perspective than Roszak always presents.
Other areas seem less than adequately treated. The discussion of psychedelics suggest they had little enduring social or political impact. However, there is considerable evidence that psychedelics spawned a large number of social movements and these are described in the book Higher Wisdom: Eminent Elders Discuss the Continuing Impact of Psychedelics.
However, Roszak has made a valuable contribution and we can only hope that his claim that an elder culture will emerge and that it will embody wisdom and compassion is correct.
So. Let's talk about his exploration of age as a new stage of life, one that isn't necessarily doomed to senility & decay. In this, he's returning to a much older view of age, one that goes back millennia, when those who survived to old age were respected & honored for their wisdom. Is that still possible today, in such a youth-oriented culture so obviously terrified of mortality & Nature? Perhaps it is. At least it's a viable & desirable path as Roszak describes it. The prospect of an old age spent in retirement homes or cruise ships is rather ghastly; we need a better model of age than the one we've got right now. And Roszak is proposing just that.
While he spends a fair amount of his book on the economics of age & the morality of entitlements as a measure of basic human decency, I'm not as interested in that as I am in his more philosophical chapters.Read more ›
THE GOOD: There are several good points Roszak points out. The chief value of this book is that it gives us an insider perspective of the struggles and unfair treatments meted out on the elder population. It is a book for us to cherish and remember that we too, will get old one day. Why not begin treating all persons, both young and old with courtesy and respect?
THE CONTROVERSIAL: There are some controversies as well, like letting nature's way of solving the global overpopulation and overconsumption problem. In the light of society's focus on longetivity and prolonging health care, this idea implicitly means we ease up on such prolonging efforts.
THE UGLY: The author tends to have a negative attitude toward religion, specifically evangelical types. He writes about it in a derogatory manner. At one point, he rattles on, blaming the evangelicals for creating directly/indirectly the problems of a sex-crazed culture.
In the book, creating an 'elder culture' is equivalent to creating a culture of interdependency. There are good observations made by the author. It is also a great opportunity for the young to see the perspective of the elderly, how they have been mistreated. Unfortunately, the combative tones at various aspects of the book may work against his universal call for all toward an interdependent culture.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have read most of Roszak's work on the longevity revolution. This work has been the most readable, the one that speaks simply and succinctly to the message he evokes - elders... Read morePublished on May 13, 2014 by Susan Ann Stauffer, PhD, MSW
Wow! the subject is incredible for those of us who started the revolution during the 1960s
the author covers the subject starting centuries ago. Read more
Most professors make arguments that are too mild for me. What happened to American government as one nation under horse feathers since 1980 requires a different kind of logic than... Read morePublished on September 23, 2012 by snap shot hex
This is an excellent book. As a male, it made me think about some of the male burdens I carry around and I might think about giving up.Published on May 8, 2012 by Ralph S. Beren