"Here you have these wonderful files, and you seem little interested in how we cope with increasing age ... our adaptability, our zest for life," one of these subjects wrote to Vaillant, a researcher, psychiatrist, and Harvard Medical School professor, about how he was using this information. Vaillant took this advice to heart. In Aging Well, he presents personal narratives about people from these studies whom he interviewed personally in their 70s and 80s. He describes their history, relationships, hardships, philosophies, and sources of joy. We learn their perspectives and what makes them want to get up in the morning.
We also learn what makes old age vital and interesting. Vaillant discusses the important adult developmental tasks, such as identity, intimacy, and generativity (giving to the next generation), and provides important clues to a healthy, meaningful, satisfying old age. Health in old age, we learn, is not predicted by low cholesterol or ancestral longevity, but by factors such as a stable marriage, adaptive coping style (the ability to make lemonade out of life's lemons), and regular exercise.
Vaillant is empathetic and sometimes surprisingly poetic: "Owning an old brain, you see, is rather like owning an old car.... Careful driving and maintenance are everything." He freely includes subjective observations and interpretations, giving us a richer picture of the people he interviewed and insights into their lives. Aging Well is recommended for readers who are interested in learning about the quality-of-life issues of aging from the people who have the most to teach. --Joan Price --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Given the usual tendancy of liberal academicians to deny their obvious bias against moderates and conservatives, it was refreshing to see Vaillant admit a few of his biases (and... Read morePublished on Oct. 30 2003
Mountains of research was reviewed to write this book. For that effort I added an additional star to the three I gave for the book itself. Read morePublished on April 19 2003 by booklover
With around 320 pages of main text, not counting the appendices, Vaillant takes some time to present a popularization of several longitudinal studies of adult development, and to... Read morePublished on March 17 2003 by Kenneth Young
Skip this one and go for the original AGING WELL by Dr. Jeanne Wei, which came out a couple of years before this..., which even uses a similar jacket design! Read morePublished on Jan. 4 2003
While one cannot take the author literally as to each item or recommendation (and the author probably does not expect you to), this insightful text has many great ideas for staying... Read morePublished on Sept. 14 2002
I just read some 20 pages of excerpt from this book. Really promises to be an interesting and informative read. Read morePublished on Jan. 20 2002 by Sandeep