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"You're not getting older, you're getting better," or so promised the famous 1970's ad--for women's hair dye. Americans have always had a complicated relationship with aging: embrace it, deny it, defer it--and women have been on the front lines of the battle, willingly or not.
In her lively social history of American women and aging, acclaimed New York Times columnist Gail Collins illustrates the ways in which age is an arbitrary concept that has swung back and forth over the centuries. From Plymouth Rock (when a woman was considered marriageable if "civil and under fifty years of age"), to a few generations later, when they were quietly retired to elderdom once they had passed the optimum age for reproduction, to recent decades when freedom from striving in the workplace and caretaking at home is often celebrated, to the first female nominee for president, American attitudes towards age have been a moving target. Gail Collins gives women reason to expect the best of their golden years.
"This is a deeply reported book, and Collins turns up some fascinating details. . . . The book is an eye-opening guide to our shifting attitudes about aging." --- New York Times
"A lively celebration of women's potential." -- Kirkus
"Collins continues her exploration of women's history with this breezy look at the position of older women in American society. This is a diverting and certainly interesting and valuable read." --- Booklist
"A lively and well-researched compendium. . . . This enjoyable and informative historical survey will delight Collins's fans and bring in some new ones." --- Publishers Weekly