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Shock of Gray: The Aging of the World's Population and How it Pits Young Against Old, Child Against Parent, Worker Against Boss, Company Against Rival, and Nation Against Nation

3.44  ·  Rating Details ·  163 Ratings  ·  36 Reviews
The New York Times bestselling author of Chin a , Inc. reports on the astounding economic and political ramifications of an aging world.

The world’s population is rapidly aging—by the year 2030, one billion people will be sixty-five or older. As the ratio of the old to the young grows ever larger, global aging has gone critical: For the first time in history, the number o
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ebook, 416 pages
Published October 19th 2010 by Scribner
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(showing 1-30)
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D.M. Dutcher
Sep 05, 2011 D.M. Dutcher rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction
This book reads like a collection of magazine articles with little to unify it besides the theme: how the world is getting older. There's really no unique insights to be found if you are familiar with the controvery of an aging world-books like Leisureville cover aspects of what he writes about in greater depth and detail. Other than that, it's mostly useful if you want a snapshot approach of issues aging raises, but without any real analysis or suggestions for a solution.
Graham Mulligan
Shock of Gray, Ted C. Fishman, Scribner, 2010
Reviewed by Graham Mulligan

The subtitle to this book describes the broad themes as: ‘The aging of the world’s population and how it pits young against old, child against parent, worker against boss, company against rival, and nation against nation”. The world’s population is getting older and as it does it is bringing new challenges for all societies. Fishman warns, “the number of old and very old is climbing, and we all have a lot of work to figure o
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Lukas Lovas
Apr 10, 2014 Lukas Lovas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love it, when a book furthers my knowledge in a field that I had no idea even existed :) This one did just that.

The sociological, economic, philosophycal and political aspects of people aging differently than before (there are more older people every year, and their lifespan is getting longer every year) are vast...and this book focuses on identifying the problems. It gives a lot of very well organised information on what is happening in different parts of the world, and how will the situation
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Merreh65
Nov 07, 2011 Merreh65 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is a bit academic, but a "must read" for aging baby boomers. Much of the subject matter has been predicted in "The Blue Chair", an interesting futuristic novel. In many ways the book confirms what we are living in caring for aging parents. In other ways the book gives a global perspective that we miss in the focus on our daily lives. The profound effects of shifting populations, draining young people from poorer countries in exchange for seeding economic growth and change in their home ...more
Lucia Iordache
This is the book I took with me on my recent trip to Panama. It wasn’t an easy read because the book it’s full of stats which are overwhelming to read and interpret. However, I found the book interesting in seeing the correlation between economic markets and personal issues like family planning and elder care. Here are some interesting points I took from the book:

◦People live longer: by 2050 the number of people over a hundred is expected to reach 3.2 million. In the year 2000 there were only 18
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Doug
Feb 13, 2011 Doug rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Really thought-provoking: the Confucian values of 'respect your elders' were written and obeyed at the time when life expectancy is 35; that within 50 years, Japan went from being one of the youngest nations to one of the oldest; that the Greatest Generation was the first generation to grow old as a class; and the Baby Boomers are the first generation to live with the expectation of becoming old. It's also terrifying - and not just because of all the old people on the roads - thinking about what ...more
Rob
Mar 12, 2012 Rob rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you haven't thought much about the implications of worldwide aging, "Shock of Gray" will give you much to consider. The book as structured as a sort of "field survey" of areas that are dealing firsthand with accelerated growth of senior populations: Sarasota, Spain, Rockford, Japan and China. These lengthy vignettes are divided by chapters that deal with aging in a more general sense. All of this is peppered with fascinating statistics to describe the not-so-distant future, when (for example) ...more
Justin Powell
Mar 19, 2013 Justin Powell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The greatest feature of this book is the authors ability to not "take a side" on the topic. He gives the facts straight as they are, and leaves it for you to develop an opinion on it. That might be one of the reasons why I have little to say in regards to reading this book.

At any rate, I would say that I found it very interesting to see how China is dealing with the problem of an ever aging population and who's job it is to take care of them. Clearly The United States has a problem in regards t
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Stephanie
Nov 12, 2015 Stephanie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pleasure, science
Terrible. I really tried too - I made it to page 240/360- but it wasn't getting any better. The aging of the worlds population is an incredibly interesting topic, but somehow this book spent hundreds of pages not actually discussing anything concrete. Everything was anecdotal, often things were contradictory, and nothing was organized in a cohesive way. I would often end a section having to fish back through the text for what the purpose of the section had been. The author also had a wonderful h ...more
Mike Violano
Aug 03, 2015 Mike Violano rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Shock of Grey is a very worthwhile read for the data presented and the stories that bring to life the promise and perils of the globalization of aging. Author Ted Fishman travels the world to illustrate how the aging of the earth's population is impacting societies and economies. Through advances in medical science and technology, diet and drinking water, vaccines against many diseases, drugs and other life extending advances people are proving that 60 is the new 40 or at least 50. In fiftee ...more
Sandra
Nov 13, 2010 Sandra rated it it was ok
The world is getting older. In 20 years, there will be 1 billion people over the age of 65.
With facts, figures, demographic, and stories, Fishman paints a picture of the future and what an aging population means for the world.

Although I found this book incredibly informative, the telling was scattershot and overloaded with data. Yes, Fishman does discuss the aging of the world's population and how it pits young against old, child against parent, worker against boss, company against rival, and
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Elizabeth
This was an intriguing read, with statistics that surprised me. I assumed it was largely the US and Europe who were caught in the aging-baby-boomer phenomenon but Japan and China too will be fighting the same global concerns with the aging of their population by 2050. Developed countries will need to adapt much more quickly than they have in the last two or three decades, according to this author, if they are to leverage the older worker. The book also had quite a bit of insight on lifestyle imp ...more
Roland Bruno
Jun 14, 2011 Roland Bruno rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I had read the author's "China Inc." several years ago and loved it so based upon the author and an interest in the topic I delved into this title. Far too much detail on individual portraits of retirees worldwide and not enough discussion of how governments are seeking to address the situation. I didn't expect to find answers here but I would have appreciated hearing about potential solutions to the issues presented. "While America Aged" is a better choice if you would like a primer on the topi ...more
David
Aug 05, 2012 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
a very interesting book about the aging of populations everywhere in the world..the trend will continue to get worsen. Author uses quite a few examples on the generation "gap"...in various countries and taking on the problem of the system in USA..globalization and the speed of technology is pulling family apart not just on income gap, cultural gap, and the age gap..a very good insight on what are going to happen in the next 30 years.
Marie
Jan 27, 2011 Marie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Important for all of us to read because every single one of us is about to be affected by the preponderance of old people, and mighty important for us in our 60s to prepare as best we can for our old age and for our family - and I don't mean just financially. Everyone will have to adjust their lives, priorities, schedules, and attitudes. The whole world will be doing this with us. Fascinating chapters on Japan, Ecuador, China.
Lauren
Dec 19, 2010 Lauren rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked the comparisons of aging in different countries. I was aware of Japan's aging population, but the chapter on Spain surprised me. I am originally from Rockford, Illinois and appreciated the chapter on this aging dying industrial city. Read this book concurrently with Katherine Newman's The Accordion Family. The two books compliment each other about generations and globalization. I recommend both books.
Samuel Lubell
The subtitle sums it up: The aging of the world’s population and how it pits young against old, child aginst parent, worker against boss, company against rival, and nation against nation. It alternated between chapters on a specific place and larger theme based chapters. Read for Futurist book club
Usman Chohan
Dec 15, 2011 Usman Chohan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The multi-dimentionality of this book is outstanding. It is only after reading Fishman's research that one realizes the one fundamental force that is driving relationships of all sorts... that the world is getting surprisingly older. As the book enumerates, Aging pits "Young Against Old, Child Against Parent, Worker Against Boss, Company Against Rival, and Nation Against Nation".
Barb
This was a book for one of my book clubs and I probably would not have known of it or read if not for that. It was ok. I think some of the material may now be a little dated. Some of the facts were interesting and came me something to think about. I will admit to skimming some of the statistical areas. But as someone who is aging, I did find it somewhat interesting.
Bill Gordon
Dec 13, 2010 Bill Gordon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm glad I delved into this book. It's a little dry and textbooky but also packed with information about what our rapidly aging world is all about. If anyone in their teens asks you what work they should consider going into, please tell them either nursing or geriatric health care. They'll never be unemployed.
Judy
May 16, 2011 Judy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: listened-on-cd
This was very long and informative, and the main solutions that I took away were: 1) have a lot of children to care for elders, or 2) Educate your children so that the family can store up wealth to care for elders.
Ryan Christensen
Nov 11, 2010 Ryan Christensen rated it really liked it
A great look into the aging population of the world and how it impacts globalization and country economics. I found it informative and it has broadened my perspective on the world. A great read for anyone looking to dive into the subject of globalization and world population statistics.
Jimt43
May 12, 2013 Jimt43 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Give me a break. This is about the upteenth book I have read lately that has ONE really interesting idea and is basically only worth about one blog to describe.
The whole book is summed up on the cover page. It doesn't take examples ad nauseum to convince me of his point.
Michael Hinsley
Dec 24, 2010 Michael Hinsley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent!, using the examples of Spain, Sarasota, Fla., Yokyo, and Rockford, Ill. weaves a suggestive map of forces being unleashed in USA and globally. Readable prose, and good storytelling make for a book worth re-reading.
Aline Andersen
Mar 07, 2013 Aline Andersen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a great book. Wish I could remember more of the great statistics and facts through out the book. A must read for Baby boomers.
Cindy Engquist
This was more academic than I had hoped, but significant to read just the same. The impact of the aging of the boomer generation is huge.
Anna Ericsson
Jan 27, 2013 Anna Ericsson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent journalism and structured story. I wold love to see more science in there.
Jason
Apr 27, 2012 Jason rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: culture
A brilliant book on the implications (positive and negative) of an aging population.
Marian Pierce
Jul 19, 2012 Marian Pierce rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating look at aging demographics around the world and potential impact on economics, culture and more.
Dave Donahoe
Jul 25, 2015 Dave Donahoe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, business
This book addresses business, aging, ageism, politics, history, sociology. A little bit of everything. A fascinating read. I recommend it to anyone who is getting older, or knows someone who is.
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