In Our Prime: The Invention of Middle Age

Front Cover
Simon and Schuster, Jan 10, 2012 - Psychology - 306 pages
1 Review
From the New York Times reporter whose beat is culture and ideas comes a fascinating, revelatory, and timely 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. This important and immensely readable book finally fills the gap. In Our Prime 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. 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 men to twenty-first-century high-tech laboratories where researchers are currently conducting cutting-edge experiments on the middle-aged brain and body.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - ChristineEllei - LibraryThing

The term “middle age” is an invention of our modern world and the definition changes according to the normal expected life span of adults. In generations when 60 year-olds were considered well-aged ... Read full review

IN OUR PRIME: The Invention of Middle Age

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

New York Times culture reporter Cohen looks at how the concept of middle age has changed from the 1860s, when it was first recognized as a discrete period of adult development, to the present day.To ... Read full review

Contents

The Prime Meridian
3
Now and Then
15
The Tick of the Time Clock
32
The Renaissance ofthe MiddleAged
49
The MiddleAged Body
60
Middle Age Enters the Modern Age
80
Middle Age Under the Microscope
123
The MiddleAged Brain
140
Middle Age Medicine
180
Middle Age Sex
192
Complex Accomplices
211
The Arrival of the Alpha Boomer
228
In Our Prime
242
Notes
249
Selected Bibliography
293
Copyright

Consuming Desire
163

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2012)

Patricia Cohen has been a New York Times reporter for thirteen years. She has also worked at The Washington Post, New York Newsday, and Rolling Stone. She has a BA from Cornell University and a graduate degree from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University.

Bibliographic information