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In Our Prime

by Patricia Cohen

Now in paperback from New York Times reporter Patricia Cohen, a "lively, well-researched chronicle" (The New York Times Book Review) of the concept of middle age, from the nineteenth century to the present.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. This important and immensely readable book finally fills the gap. In Our Prime is a "lucid, straightforward and conversational...a thorough--and thoroughly fascinating--cultural history of aging" (Chicago Tribune) 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. Patricia Cohen 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, Cohen takes readers from early-twentieth-century factories that refused to hire middle-aged workers to twenty-first-century high-tech laboratories where researchers are currently conducting cutting-edge experiments on the middle-aged brain and body. Her book is fascinating, revelatory, and timely.

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