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Short Synopsis
From New York Times reporter Patricia Cohen, a revelatory and timely book about "middle age," from the 19th century to the present.

Full Synopsis
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.

"Pam Ward narrates with tones of playfulness and a bit of cynicism. . . . Her voice reflects Cohen's irritation with employers and marketers who value the younger generation." --AudioFile

"A cool, well-documented account that puts the concept of middle age into historical context." ---Kirkus

"This comprehensive and entertaining social history highlights the possibilities of the middle years and shows how middle age reflects the attitudes and customs of each generation that passes through it." ---Publishers Weekly

"This is an illuminating social history for students, social scientists, and all those who wonder whether they are middle-aged." ---Library Journal

In Our Prime

The Invention of Middle Age

Author Patricia Cohen

Narrated by Pam Ward

Publication date Jan 23, 2012

Running time 11 hrs

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