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Download In Our Prime: The Invention of Middle Age Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample In Our Prime: The Invention of Middle Age, by Patricia Cohen Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (56 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Patricia Cohen Narrator: Pam Ward Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “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

  • “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.”


  • “This is an illuminating social history for students, social scientists, and all those who wonder whether they are middle-aged.”

    Library Journal

  • “A cool, well-documented account that puts the concept of middle age into historical context.”

    Kirkus Reviews

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Jen | 9/12/2013

    " Interesting that the concept of middle age is somewhat of a media campaign. Like many non fiction books, I felt like it would have been better, shorter. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Sharon | 7/26/2013

    " Overall the idea is good. I found the beginning a bit slow and then as she talked about the science and research it became more interesting and then my interest waned with the marketing/television bit. I feel that it did not really enlighten me on any level. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Blackieblack | 6/26/2013

    " Wasen`t really into it. It didn`t teach me anything new. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Ashlie | 4/19/2013

    " I liked the idea behind this book, but it dragged at times because it seemed that the author needed to give (too) many examples for each idea. I'm glad I read it, because it made me think about the way that our society views middle age and especially the middle-aged body. "

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About the Author

Patricia Cohen is a New York Times who covers culture and ideas. She has also worked at Rolling Stone, the Washington Post, and New York Newsday. Cohen’s work has been included in the writing textbook The Longman Writer, and she is a contributor to the four-volume series The New York Times Guide to the Arts of the 20th Century.