Monday, July 18, 2016

Old Age: A Beginners Guide--A Review


Michael Kinsley is a journalist, former editor, and a member of the baby boom generation.  He also has Parkinson's Disease.  In Old Age: A Beginner's Guide, he writes,
Sometimes I feel like a scout from my generation, sent out ahead to experience in my fifties what even the healthiest boomers are going to experience in their sixties, seventies, or eighties.  There are far worse medical conditions that Parkinson's, and there are far worse cases of Parkinson's than mine.  But what I have, at the level I have it, is an interesting foretaste of our shared future--a beginner's guide to old age.
I wanted to read this book because not only do I have baby boomer parents and in-laws, who are aging, but also, someone close to me has been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.  I was expecting tips or encouragement for people who are aging in general, and living with Parkinson's Disease in particular, but I didn't find that in the pages of this book.

What I found was a frank exploration of aging, from the perspective of the particular generation known as the baby boomers, with their shared experiences and values as an age cohort.  Mr. Kinsley explored aging from the perspective of "winning" at aging.  Does the person who lives the longest win?  Or the person who keeps hold of their physical or mental capacities?  Or the person who leaves the longest lasting legacy?

The book was interesting, but because it wasn't what I was expecting, and because I am not a baby boomer, I couldn't really get in to it, and I didn't like it all that much.

I received this book for free from the publisher through Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.



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