An upbeat, empathetic, and practical guide to becoming “an old person in training.”

THIS CHAIR ROCKS

A MANIFESTO AGAINST AGEISM

A satisfying exploration of how growing older offers significant, rich new experiences.

Applewhite (Cutting Loose: Why Women Who End Their Marriages Do So Well, 1997, etc.), cited by Forbes as one of Forty Women to Watch Over 40, in 2017, argues convincingly that ageism—like racism and sexism—is a form of demeaning prejudice, inaccurately generalizing the experiences of older adults and promoting the idea that old age is repulsive and lonely. Drawing on abundant studies and interviews, she exhorts readers “to wake up to the ageism in and around us, embrace a more nuanced and accurate view of growing older, cheer up, and push back.” Stereotypes of old age—geezer, biddy, codger, etc.—convey negativity. “Those stereotypes,” she writes, “are ours to reject or subvert on the way to more compelling and accurate aspirational identities.” But rejecting such stereotypes should not lead to strategies such as dying hair, applying creams and potions, and taking pills that promise “to erase the trace of time.” Applewhite debunks many prevalent assumptions about aging, including failing memory, weakened physical ability, and overall lack of attractiveness and competence. She notes that forgetfulness “is not Alzheimer’s, or dementia, or even necessarily a sign of cognitive impairment”; rates of dementia are falling, she has discovered, even as the population is aging. Moreover, especially “in the emotional realm, older brains are more resilient,” better able to deal with negative emotions and change. Everyone ages at a different rate, she writes: “There is no line in the sand, no crossover between young and old after which it’s all downhill.” Viewing 60 or 70—or even 40—as the beginning of the end necessarily has an impact on self-image and outlook. Among the author’s suggestions for creating “an all-age-friendly world” are creating increased opportunities for older people to contribute “socially, civically, and economically” to the community; improving research into the biology of aging and the social implications of longevity; and expanding the training of geriatric medical practitioners as well as resources for older learners and workers.

An upbeat, empathetic, and practical guide to becoming “an old person in training.”

Pub Date: March 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-250-31148-1

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Celadon Books

Review Posted Online: Nov. 7, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2018

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However charily one should apply the word, a beautiful book, an unconditionally involving memoir for our time or any time.

I KNOW WHY THE CAGED BIRD SINGS

Maya Angelou is a natural writer with an inordinate sense of life and she has written an exceptional autobiographical narrative which retrieves her first sixteen years from "the general darkness just beyond the great blinkers of childhood."

Her story is told in scenes, ineluctably moving scenes, from the time when she and her brother were sent by her fancy living parents to Stamps, Arkansas, and a grandmother who had the local Store. Displaced they were and "If growing up is painful for the Southern Black girl, being aware of her displacement is the rust on the razor that threatens the throat." But alternating with all the pain and terror (her rape at the age of eight when in St. Louis With her mother) and humiliation (a brief spell in the kitchen of a white woman who refused to remember her name) and fear (of a lynching—and the time they buried afflicted Uncle Willie under a blanket of vegetables) as well as all the unanswered and unanswerable questions, there are affirmative memories and moments: her charming brother Bailey; her own "unshakable God"; a revival meeting in a tent; her 8th grade graduation; and at the end, when she's sixteen, the birth of a baby. Times When as she says "It seemed that the peace of a day's ending was an assurance that the covenant God made with children, Negroes and the crippled was still in effect."

However charily one should apply the word, a beautiful book, an unconditionally involving memoir for our time or any time.

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 1969

ISBN: 0375507892

Page Count: 235

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1969

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A Churchill-ian view of native history—Ward, that is, not Winston—its facts filtered through a dense screen of ideology.

AN INDIGENOUS PEOPLES' HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES

Custer died for your sins. And so, this book would seem to suggest, did every other native victim of colonialism.

Inducing guilt in non-native readers would seem to be the guiding idea behind Dunbar-Ortiz’s (Emerita, Ethnic Studies/California State Univ., Hayward; Blood on the Border: A Memoir of the Contra War, 2005, etc.) survey, which is hardly a new strategy. Indeed, the author says little that hasn’t been said before, but she packs a trove of ideological assumptions into nearly every page. For one thing, while “Indian” isn’t bad, since “[i]ndigenous individuals and peoples in North America on the whole do not consider ‘Indian’ a slur,” “American” is due to the fact that it’s “blatantly imperialistic.” Just so, indigenous peoples were overwhelmed by a “colonialist settler-state” (the very language broadly applied to Israelis vis-à-vis the Palestinians today) and then “displaced to fragmented reservations and economically decimated”—after, that is, having been forced to live in “concentration camps.” Were he around today, Vine Deloria Jr., the always-indignant champion of bias-puncturing in defense of native history, would disavow such tidily packaged, ready-made, reflexive language. As it is, the readers who are likely to come to this book—undergraduates, mostly, in survey courses—probably won’t question Dunbar-Ortiz’s inaccurate assertion that the military phrase “in country” derives from the military phrase “Indian country” or her insistence that all Spanish people in the New World were “gold-obsessed.” Furthermore, most readers won’t likely know that some Ancestral Pueblo (for whom Dunbar-Ortiz uses the long-abandoned term “Anasazi”) sites show evidence of cannibalism and torture, which in turn points to the inconvenient fact that North America wasn’t entirely an Eden before the arrival of Europe.

A Churchill-ian view of native history—Ward, that is, not Winston—its facts filtered through a dense screen of ideology.

Pub Date: Sept. 16, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-8070-0040-3

Page Count: 296

Publisher: Beacon

Review Posted Online: Aug. 18, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2014

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