Why Survive?: Being Old in America

Why Survive?: Being Old in America

by Robert N. Butler

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Looks at prevailing attitudes toward aging as well as the economic and medical needs of elderly citizens.


Looks at prevailing attitudes toward aging as well as the economic and medical needs of elderly citizens.

Editorial Reviews

Boston Globe
Crammed with facts that explode old myths.

Heavily documented, highly readable... jammed with recommendations for constructive change in every area.

The Encyclopedia Britannica of American aging.

New York Times Book Review
Butler questions the value of long life for its own sake; modern medicine, he says, has ironically created 'a huge group of people for whom survival is possible but satisfaction in living elusive.' He proposes sweeping policy reforms to redefine and restructure the institutions responsible for what he calls 'the tragedy of old age in America.'.

Journal of the American Medical Association
Everyone should read this book... suitable for use in high school as well as medical school, and for readers of every age.

Product Details

Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication date:
Edition description:
New Edition
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.30(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

Judd Marmor

Important, fact-filled, compassionate, and insightful.

Judd Marmor, M.D., former president, American Psychiatric Association

Alex Comfort

The best and best informed exposé to appear so far... every American of every age should read this book.

Karl Menninger M.D.

I commend it for clarity and lucidity, unpretentiousness and comprehensiveness... I think it is a classic.

Meet the Author

Robert N. Butler, M.D., is president and chief executive officer of the International Longevity Center–USA and professor of geriatrics at the Brookdale Department of Geriatrics and Adult Development at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City. From 1975 to 1982 he was the founding director of the National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health. In 1982 he founded the first department of geriatrics in a U.S. medical school. In 1976 Butler won the Pulitzer Prize for his book Why Survive?: Being Old in America. He is co-author (with Dr. Myrna I. Lewis) of the books Aging and Mental Health and Love and Sex After 60. He is presently working on a book, The Longevity Revolution.

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