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In Our Prime: The Invention of Middle Age Hardcover – January 10, 2012
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“A lively, well-researched chronicle of the social and scientific forces that brought midlife America to its current befuddled state…”—Laura Shapiro, New York Times Book Review
“A brilliant, wide-ranging book…Cohen’s lively prose and thoughtful insights make this a joy to read.”—Kate Tuttle, Boston Globe
“In Our Prime is a fascinating study of this complex stage of life, a book whose appeal is likely to extend beyond the middle-age demographic to readers approaching or looking back on that key stage of life.”—Jerry Harkavy, Associated Press
“Very fine…lucid, straightforward and conversational… a thorough—and thoroughly fascinating—cultural history of aging.”—Julia Keller, Chicago Tribune
“A fascinating biography of the idea of middle age…solidly researched.”—Gail Sheehy, The New York Times
“With lively writing, astute observations, and extensive research, this cultural history looks well beyond cougars and Botox.”—Karen Holt, Oprah.com
“A thoroughly engaging cultural history…”—Christine Sismondo, Toronto Star
“In Our Prime is a fascinating biography of the ‘idea of middle age’ in American society…Comprehensively researched…A thoughtful inquiry.”—Tom Lavoie, Shelf Awareness
“A comprehensive look at middle age through the eyes of scientists, historians, psychologists, medical doctors, marketers and many more.”—Julie Carl, Winnipeg Free Press
“Witty and engaging…this comprehensive and entertaining social history highlights the possibilities of the middle years—and shows how middle age reflects the attitudes and customs of each generation that passes through it.”—Publishers Weekly
“A cool, well-documented account that puts the concept of middle age into historical context.”—Kirkus Reviews
About the Author
Patricia Cohen has been a New York Times reporter for thirteen years. She has also worked at The Washington Post, New York Newsday, and Rolling Stone. She has a BA from Cornell University and a graduate degree from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University.
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"In Our Prime" is an extremely well researched exploration of our notion of midlife and how these ideas have evolved from mere anecdote in the 19th century (most creative work is done before the age of 40) to the first long term research projects which didn't take place in earnest until the turn of the 21st century.
Ms. Cohen's research into the neuroscience of aging was one of the most fascinating aspects of the book for me. It offered fresh insights into the neuroplasticity of the brain and how we can choose to write new chapters in our lives well into what had previously been thought of as the dawn of "old age."
I also liked the fact that she resisted the temptation to "preach" her own points of view but relied instead on meticulous research to make her points. While allowing the reader to draw their own conclusions.
-Jacqueline Marcell, Author 'Elder Rage, or Take My Father... Please! How to Survive Caring for Aging Parents', International Speaker on Eldercare & Alzheimer's