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City of Green Benches: Growing Old in a New Downtown (signed)

Vesperi, Maria D.

6 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0801418186 / ISBN 13: 9780801418181
Published by Cornell Univ Pr, Ithaca, New York, U.S.A., 1985
Condition: Very Good Hardcover
From Wilsons BookWorld, F.A.B.A. (St. Petersburg, FL, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

Beige boards, Illustrated jacket with wear to extremities, 162pp. From the estate and private library of famed cartoonist Don Addis. Inscription from author to Addis on a1. International Shipping via PRIORITY MAIL ONLY. Bookseller Inventory # 003153

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Bibliographic Details

Title: City of Green Benches: Growing Old in a New ...

Publisher: Cornell Univ Pr, Ithaca, New York, U.S.A.

Publication Date: 1985

Binding: Cloth

Book Condition:Very Good

Dust Jacket Condition: Fair

Signed: Inscribed by Author(s)

Edition: First Edition

About this title


St. Petersburg, Florida, has become virtually synonymous with retirement and old age. The city of green benches once courted its elderly population; now, however, it seeks to rejuvenate its image, to attract the young through urban revitalization. In this humane and sensitive book, Maria Vesperi, an anthropologist and journalist, looks at the realities of being old and poor in the rapidly changing downtown of St. Petersburg. Vesperi provides a complete and carefully observed picture of the elderly: the conditions of their_ lives, representative social programs created to provide for them, and their interaction with the city around them. The life of the old in St. Petersburg, she notes, is characterized by a profound contradiction between how the elderly see themselves and how they are viewed by the community-a contradiction that speaks of the way cultural stereotypes about aging are transmitted to all older Americans. As a culture, Vesperi maintains, we view the old as an isolated segment of humanity without a living future or even an ongoing present. She seeks to understand the ways in which the old respond to the distorted image that they meet with every day, not only in their relations with individuals but in their dealings with the institutions set up specifically to care for them. Her study of St. Petersburg explores questions that are significant throughout the United States: How did our rigid cultural assumptions about old age develop, and how can we change them? Why do so many gerontologists, public officials, and social workers tacitly subscribe to that misconception? How does it inform the development and operation of public programs for the elderly? Enlivened by the voices of the old people of St. Petersburg and enriched with photographs by Ricardo Ferro, this moving book is important reading for anyone concerned with the life of the elderly in America.


"This book is one of very few that tackle the difficult task of analyzing our culturally bound notion of old age and its consequences for older people and the programs that serve them."

(Journal of Religion and Aging)

"In this significant contribution to gerontology theory, Vesperi examines the cultural construction of old age in American society and its impact on the self-concept of the aged. This groundbreaking study suggests a theoretical and methodological approach for the exploration of the meaning of age cross-culturally."

(American Anthropologist)

"It is clear that Vesperi... understands these old people, what motivates them and what terrifies them. And that is the heart of this book."

(Orlando Sentinel)

"Vesperi combines the ear of a journalist, recording scores of conversations with elderly residents, with the eye of an anthropologist, trying to understand how people's self-esteem and self-perception are transformed in the process of social change."

(St. Petersburg Times)

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Business Name: Wilsons BookWorld, F.A.B.A.
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