Losing It: In Which an Aging Professor Laments His Shrinking Brain

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Yale University Press, 2011 - FAMILY & RELATIONSHIPS - 336 pages
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In "Losing It, " William Ian Miller brings his inimitable wit and learning to the subject of growing old: "too old to matter, of either rightly losing your confidence or wrongly maintaining it, culpably refusing to face the fact that you are losing it." The "it" in Miller's "losing it" refers mainly to mental faculties--memory, processing speed, sensory acuity, the capacity to focus. But it includes other evidence as well--sags and flaccidities, aches and pains, failing joints and organs. What are we to make of these tell-tale signs? Does growing old gracefully mean more than simply refusing unseemly cosmetic surgeries? How do we face decline and the final drawing of the blinds? Will we know if and when we have lingered too long?

Drawing on a lifetime of deep study and anxious observation, Miller enlists the wisdom of the ancients to confront these vexed questions head on. Debunking the glossy new image of old age that has accompanied the graying of the Baby Boomers, he conjures a lost world of aging rituals--complaints, taking to bed, resentments of one's heirs, schemes for taking it with you or settling up accounts and scores--to remind us of the ongoing dilemmas of old age. Darkly intelligent and sublimely written, this exhilarating and eccentric book will raise the spirits of readers, young and old.

 

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Contents

INTRODUCTION
PART I
CHAPTER 1
CHAPTER 2
CHAPTER 3
CHAPTER 4
PART II
CHAPTER 5
CHAPTER 12
PART V
CHAPTER 13
CHAPTER 14
CHAPTER 15
CHAPTER 16
CHAPTER 17
PART VI

CHAPTER 6
PART III
CHAPTER 7
CHAPTER 8
CHAPTER 9
PART IV
CHAPTER 10
CHAPTER 11
CHAPTER 18
CHAPTER 19
ADDENDUM
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
NOTES
BIBLIOGRAPHY
INDEX
Copyright

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About the author (2011)

William Ian Miller is the Thomas G. Long Professor of Law at the University of Michigan Law School. He has also taught at Harvard University, Yale University, The University of Chicago, and the Universities of Bergen and Tel Aviv. Professor Miller holds a JD and a PhD in English, both earned at Yale. His various books, including most recently Faking It (2003), The Mystery of Courage (2000) and The Anatomy of Disgust (1997), have enjoyed critical acclaim throughout the world.

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