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In Our Prime (edition 2012)
In Our Prime: The Invention of Middle Age by Patricia Cohen
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From the author, a New York Times reporter whose beat is culture and ideas, comes a social history of the concept of middle age. For the first time ever, the middle-aged make up the biggest, richest, and most influential segment of the country, yet the history of middle age has remained largely untold. In this book is a biography of the idea of middle age from its invention in the late nineteenth century to its current place at the center of American society, where it shapes the way we view our families, our professional obligations, and our inner lives. The author ranges over the entire landscape of midlife, exploring how its biological, psychological, and social definitions have shifted from one generation to the next. Middle age has been a symbol both of decline and of power and wealth. Explaining why, she takes readers from early-twentieth-century factories that refused to hire middle-aged men to twenty-first-century high-tech laboratories where researchers are currently conducting cutting-edge experiments on the middle-aged brain and body.
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