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Never Say Die

The Myth and Marketing of the New Old Age

Never Say Die by Susan Jacoby
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Susan Jacoby, an unsparing chronicler of unreason in American culture, now offers an impassioned, tough-minded critique of the myth that a radically new old age—unmarred by physical or mental deterioration, financial problems, or intimate loneliness—awaits the huge baby boom generation. Combining historical, social, and economic analysis with personal experiences of love and loss, Jacoby turns a caustic eye not only on the modern fiction that old age can be “defied” but also on the sentimental image of a past in which Americans supposedly revered their elders. 
Never Say Die unmasks the fallacies promoted by twenty-first-century hucksters of longevity—including health gurus claiming that boomers can stay “forever young” if they only live right, self-promoting biomedical businessmen predicting that ninety may soon become the new fifty and that a “cure” for the “disease” of aging is just around the corner, and wishful thinkers asserting that older means wiser.
The author offers powerful evidence that America has always been a “youth culture” and that the plight of the neglected old dates from the early years of the republic. Today, as the oldest boomers turn sixty-five, it is imperative for them to distinguish between marketing hype and realistic hope about what lies ahead for the more than 70 million Americans who will be beyond the traditional retirement age by 2030. This wide-ranging reappraisal examines the explosion of Alzheimer’s cases, the uncertain economic future of aging boomers, the predicament of women who make up an overwhelming majority of the oldest—and poorest—old, and the illusion that we can control the way we age and die.
Jacoby raises the fundamental question of whether living longer is a good thing unless it means living better. Her book speaks to Americans, whatever their age, who draw courage and hope from facing reality instead of embracing that oldest of delusions, the fountain of youth.

From the Hardcover edition.
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group; February 2011
ISBN 9780307379603
Read online, or download in secure EPUB
Title: Never Say Die
Author: Susan Jacoby
  • News
The Myth of Aging Gracefully - Daily Beast (blog)
Sun, 30 Jan 2011 23:06:04 -0800
Daily Beast (blog)The Myth of Aging GracefullyDaily Beast (blog)But in a Newsweek column, Susan Jacoby dispels the optimistic ...
Visiting Parents in Out-of-State Assisted Living - A Place for Mom Senior Living News and Trends (blog)
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A Place for Mom Senior Living News and Trends (blog)Visiting Parents in Out-of-State Assisted LivingA Place for Mom Senior ...
Surviving Midlife Without a Crisis: Step One - Huffington Post (blog)
Fri, 15 Apr 2011 06:00:36 -0700
Surviving Midlife Without a Crisis: Step OneHuffington Post (blog)With angst, yet relief, I read “Never Say Die,” by Susan ...