This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism

Celadon. Mar. 2019. 304p. notes. index. ISBN 9781250311481. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250297242. SOC SCI
OrangeReviewStarIn this entertaining, informative, and thought-provoking book, activist Applewhite takes on what she calls the last socially acceptable prejudice: ageism. In exposing the ways that popular culture perpetuates myths and stereotypes about "olders" that are used to legitimize inequalities, the author analyzes the relationship among age and identity, self-image, and the physiology of the aging body, skillfully combining personal experience with extensive research to explore the contributions of older workers, the importance of sex and intimacy, and issues related to death and dying. She also writes about caregiving, independence, and the joy that can be found by asking for help. With each topic, Applewhite includes ways to "push back" against ageism through activism and using knowledge to fight against stereotypes. Previously published in the UK, this work boasts extensive notes, the U.S. publication seeing minor changes in formatting and a few textual additions, including updated references.
VERDICT This enjoyable read provides a positive view of aging that is sorely missing in today's popular culture. Appealing to a wide audience, it might even serve as a spark for positive social change. [See Editors' Spring Picks, p. 22.]

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