The Longevity Factor: The New Reality of Long Careers and How It Can Lead to Richer Lives

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9780060921859: The Longevity Factor: The New Reality of Long Careers and How It Can Lead to Richer Lives

An examination of longevity, culled from interviews with 115 people, aged 65 to 102--including Julia Child, Isaac Asimov, and Frances Lear--demonstrates how long careers are developed, how people change careers, and how productive ""old age"" can be.

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From Kirkus Reviews:

An optimistic view of the graying of America, created by focusing on the success stories of a select group of working elderly. According to Bront‰, director of the Long Careers Study--a research project in which she interviewed 150 working men and women from age 65 to 101 (most were in their 70s and 80s)-- increased longevity doesn't mean a longer old age but, rather, a longer middle age. She says that our negative stereotypes about aging are misleading--indeed, her biographical sketches of dozens of active, healthy working senior citizens provide a more positive view. Using terminology that gives the text a market- research flavor, Bront‰ divides her subjects into ``Homesteaders,'' who stayed in the same career their entire working lives; ``Transformers,'' who changed careers once; and ``Explorers,'' who changed careers frequently. Among those profiled are Jessica Tandy, Isaac Asimov, Nobel-winning physicist Rosalyn Yarow, Senators Margaret Chase Smith and William Fulbright, Henny Youngman, Julia Child, Norman Cousins, Studs Terkel, Jonas Salk, and Linus Pauling. Less prominent folks are included, too, but by and large the company is illustrious. If there's one message to be gleaned from these diverse biographical vignettes, it's the importance of finding engaging, satisfying work. Good luck and good health also help. Although Bront‰ emphasizes that there's nothing wrong with retiring, she says that the option to continue to work should be available to everyone. Acknowledging the conflict this creates with the idea that the old must make way for the young, she calls for more flexible retirement policies and greater recognition of the productive, creative capacities of older people. The take-home message: Cheer up folks, it's not later than you think. Inspirational--though Bront‰'s largely anecdotal evidence may not convince everyone of the joys of aging. -- Copyright 1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From Publishers Weekly:

If human life expectancy continues to increase at the rate it has during the past century, a life span of 150 years, most of it active and healthy, could be common by A.D. 2090. That according to this absorbing study of the aging process by a cousin of the literary Bronte sisters (two of whom, of course, died in their 20s). Using research gleaned from the Long Careers Study, the author, the director of the study and former director of the Aging Society Project, reverses many negative assumptions about old age, delving into the experiences of 105 notables active in their 70s, 80s and 90s. In fact, this is at the age when they did some of their best and most satisfying work, often in entirely new "post-retirement" careers. Included among those discussed: Nobel Prize-winning scientist Barbara McClintock, Jonas Salk, Mother Hale, Eileen Ford, Norman Cousins, Margaret Chase Smith, Norman Vincent Peale, Robert McNamara, Douglas Dillon and Pauline Trigere. What's the secret? According to the author, enthusiastic activity, in some cases philanthropic, is psychologically and physically the optimum lifestyle for the ever-increasing over-65 age group.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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