The Longevity Revolution: The Benefits and Challenges of Living a Long Life

Overview


Dr. Robert N. Butler coined the term “ageism” and made “Alzheimer’s” a familiar word. Now he brings his formidable knowledge to a recent and unprecedented achievement: the extension of human life expectancy by thirty years, and the growing number of people over age sixty-five.

Alarmingly, our society has not adapted to this change. In this urgent and ultimately optimistic book, Butler calls for us to reexamine our personal and societal approach to aging right now, so that the ...

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The Longevity Revolution: The Benefits and Challenges of Living a Long Life

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Overview


Dr. Robert N. Butler coined the term “ageism” and made “Alzheimer’s” a familiar word. Now he brings his formidable knowledge to a recent and unprecedented achievement: the extension of human life expectancy by thirty years, and the growing number of people over age sixty-five.

Alarmingly, our society has not adapted to this change. In this urgent and ultimately optimistic book, Butler calls for us to reexamine our personal and societal approach to aging right now, so that the boomers and the generations that follow may have a financially secure and vigorous final chapter of life.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

Until the early 20th century, few people made it to age 50; today, the average life expectancy is 77 and will continue to grow as science finds new ways to extend life, writes gerontologist Butler, founder of the National Institute on Aging and author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Why Survive?: Being Old in America(1975). Longevity, however, is of little value in the absence of quality of life, he argues in this densely written series of discussions on the challenges of increasing longevity. Butler predicts more physical and mental illnesses and significant changes in family structure, economics, long-term care, and health care, as well as reviews the evolution of longevity, the politics of aging, and the threats of a longer life span. Despite the attraction of increased longevity, he is not convinced that a long life is always a better one. Charts, graphs, and tables, along with extensive bibliographies and detailed footnotes citing published and unpublished materials, support his points. This remarkable book demonstrates Butler's extensive knowledge of all aspects of aging. Recommended for large academic and aging collections. [See the Q&A with Butler in LJ2/1/08.-Ed.]
—Karen McNally Bensing

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781586486921
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs
  • Publication date: 3/23/2010
  • Pages: 576
  • Product dimensions: 9.26 (w) x 6.26 (h) x 1.55 (d)

Meet the Author


Physician, gerontologist, psychiatrist, public servant, and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Why Survive, Robert N. Butler, MD, was president and CEO of the International Longevity Center.
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Table of Contents

Preface     xi
Introduction
What is the Longevity Revolution?     3
Challenges
The New Longevity is the Biggest Challenge     21
"The Greedy Geezer": The Manufactured Clash of the Generations     31
Ageism: Another Form of Bigotry     40
The Changing Family and Longevity     60
The Disorders of Longevity     75
Science
Human Interest in Longevity: The Power of Research     97
Alzheimer's: The Epidemic of the Twenty-First Century     121
The "Biology of Extended Time": Evolution and Longevity     144
Cycles, Clocks, and Power Plants: Longevity Science and Aging Research     162
Solutions
Toward a Prescription for Longevity and Quality of Life: Health Promotion and Disease Prevention     191
Redesigning Health Care for an Older America     214
Live Longer, Work Longer: Productive Engagement     237
Social Security: Self-Responsibility and the State     256
The Private Sector: Providence and Risk-The Role of the Marketplace     278
The Politics of Aging and Longevity     304
Population Solutions to Longevity: Transition to Stable Populations     321
Cautions
Worldwide Democratization of Longevity: Overcoming Famine, War, and Pestilence     343
Threats toLongevity: Could We Lose the Longevity Revolution?     362
Imagining Longevity
The Good Life: Quality of Life in the Era of Longevity     383
Imagining Longevity: Challenges of the Future     395
Tables     403
Notes     441
Bibliography     493
Acknowledgments     531
Index     533
About the Author     559
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