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The Journey of Life : A Cultural History of Aging in America - Thomas R. Cole

The Journey of Life

A Cultural History of Aging in America

Paperback Published: 3rd May 1993
ISBN: 9780521447652
Number Of Pages: 300

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The Journey of Life is both a cultural history of aging and a contribution to public dialogue about the meaning and significance of later life. The core of the book shows how central texts and images of Northern middle-class culture, first in Europe and then in America, created and sustained specifically modern images of the life course between the Reformation and World War I. During this long period, secular, scientific and individualist tendencies steadily eroded ancient and medieval understandings of aging as a mysterious part of the eternal order of things. In the last quarter of the twentieth century, however, postmodern images of life's journey offer a renewed awareness of the spiritual dimensions of later life and new opportunities for growth in an aging society.

Industry Reviews

'One could not ask for a more learned or compassionate guide to the mysteries of aging than Thomas R. Cole.' New York Times Book Review 'Thomas R. Cole's fascinating study, The Journey of Life, is not so much the history of aging per se, but of attitudes toward it and toward those to whom old age happens. It is therefore necessarily also about American attitudes toward the past and future and the underlying nature of wisdom. The book is exhaustive, its line of development persuasive. It reflects a continuing ambiguity and multiplicity of attitudes in society at every stage.' Boston Globe 'Cole makes a powerful case for the proposition that we can no longer afford the illusions about aging that we have inherited from the 19th century.' Christopher Lasch, University of Rochester

List of illustrations
The Ages of Life and the Journey of Life: Transcendental Ideals
Aging in the Western tradition: cultural origins of the modern life course
The aging pilgrim's progress in the New World
'Death without order': the late Calvinist ideal of aging
The Dualism of Aging in Victorian America
Antebellum revivals and Victorian morals: the ideological origins of ageism
Popular health reform and the legitimation of longevity, 1830-1870
Aging, popular art, and Romantic religion in mid-Victorian culture
In a different voice: self-help and the ideal of 'civilized' old age, 1850-1910
Science and the Ideal of Normal Aging
The aging of 'civilized' morality: the fixed period versus prolongevity, 1870-1925
Toward the scientific management of aging: the formative literature of gerontology and geriatrics, 1890-1930
The prophecy of Senescence: G. Stanley Hall and the reconstruction of old age
Epilogue: beyond dualism and control - reflections on aging in postmodern culture
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521447652
ISBN-10: 0521447658
Series: Cultural History of Aging in America
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 300
Published: 3rd May 1993
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.73 x 15.29  x 1.58
Weight (kg): 0.4