- Hardcover: 352 pages
- Publisher: Pantheon; 1 edition (February 1, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0307377946
- ISBN-13: 978-0307377944
- Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.3 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 58 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #443,661 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Never Say Die: The Myth and Marketing of the New Old Age 1st Edition
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From Publishers Weekly
"I am about to present a portrait of advanced old age," Jacoby (The Age of American Unreason) warns, "that some will find too pessimistic and negative." Her portrait of the emotional, physical, fiscal, and mental problems debunks popular myths about life in our 80s and 90s, "the worst years of lives." Jacoby locates American youth culture from colonial days, when, in 1790, "only about 2 percent were over sixty-five." By 2000, those over 65 were 12.4%, thanks to modern medicine and the benefits to well-being coincident to the economic prosperity of the 1950s and '60s. Jacoby cautions that marketing has deceived the public by suggesting that "cures for mankind's most serious and frightening diseases are imminent and that medical reversal or significant retardation of aging itself may not be far behind." As she attends to the "genuine battles of growing old," Jacoby is both moving and informative about Alzheimer's costs to the psyche and the purse of sufferer and caretaker, and eye-opening as she reframes impoverished old women as "a women's issue." She raises timely and "uncomfortable questions about old age poverty, the likelihood of dementia, end-of-life care, living wills, and assisted suicide." (Jan.)
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*Starred Review* As the older members of the baby boom generation approach 65, marketers are at the ready with an abundance of “age defying” products and services. But is aging as trouble free as marketers tout and aging consumers would like to believe? For her part, journalist Jacoby, herself in her 60s, admits to rage at the efforts to redefine old age without facing up to the unavoidable realities. For example, after age 65, the prevalence of Alzheimer’s doubles every five years. She focuses on distinctions between the young old (60s and 70s) and the old old (80s, 90s, and the few 100s) as well as the very different prospects for the elderly who are poor or minorities. Jacoby explores social, cultural, economic, and political changes in the concept of old age, from passage of the Social Security Act to extended life expectancy and retirement, from the activism of the Gray Panthers to the ravages of Alzheimer’s. Drawing on research, personal experience, and anecdotes, she offers an important reality check for Americans enamored of the images of healthy, active seniors featured in advertisements. --Vanessa Bush
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Top customer reviews
My Mom was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer's and I was looking for books that told it like it is, and I found it in this well-researched, myth busting endeavor by Susan Jacoby.
It is forcing me to reassess the years I may have left and prioritize how I will spend my leisure and work time.
A difficult to read, but essential for boomers who think 80 is the new 50...
crying. Sad topic...which most people dont want to know about.
With all the advertising about staying young and beautiful, she has
competition. The bottom line: accept your age.
But it isnt' that easy when you are in pain.
Be prepared to change many stereotypical beliefs about what it means to grow old, really old.