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Fountain of Age

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  160 ratings  ·  30 reviews
Struggling to hold on to the illusion of youth, Friedan wrote, we have denied the reality and evaded the new triumphs of growing older. We have seen age only as decline. In this powerful and very personal book, Betty Friedan charted her own voyage of discovery, and that of others, into a different kind of aging.

Friedan found ordinary men and women, moving into their fift
Paperback, 672 pages
Published August 1st 2006 by Simon Schuster (first published September 1st 1993)
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Jan 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: done
Friedan was always ahead of the curve. Her discussion of how difficult it was to find research on aging that did not involve the 'problems.' She included interesting stories from people actually trying to negotiate aging in a society that values youth.
Rebekah Theilen
Aug 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
The lengthy interview quotes made this book more interesting, but also choppy and long. I’m always interested to hear how people changed throughout their lives and to learn more about what is important to them now vs. what was important to them then.

I’ve often wondered why there aren’t more older celebrity women sharing the wisdom they’ve gained over the years. Thirty years after The Feminine Mystique, Betty Friedan wrote this book. Now I’m starting to think that the wisdom is out there, it’s j
Dec 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is a book which, intrigued by the title, I picked up some years ago but didn't read beyond the preface. Now, facing mandatory retirement, I picked it up again and found it inspirational. While carefully researched with many interactions with gerontologists and other "professionals" of age, the book is essentially a personal odyssey, an exploration of dealing with aging and the opening up of a whole new range of possibilities through generativity. The latter term is not a familiar one but es ...more
Ellyn Lem
Sep 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
When I read Atul Gawande's On Being Mortal and What Matters in the End, I thought it was a life-changing book in that he gave so much insight into how our growing older population should be treated and valued as they make decisions about the remaining part of their lives. Little did I know at the time that Betty Friedan (of legendary Feminine Mystique status) twenty year BEFORE Gawande and brought up some of the very same ideas and more. This book should be required reading for anyone post-fifty ...more
Dec 27, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: aging, feminism, sociology
Friedan takes on a worthy project: dispelling the myth that aging means decline, detachment and decay. She's right to challenge the ageism pervasive in our society. We too often objectify older adults, even when we seek to take good care of them. We end up infantalizing them, robbing them of their personhood.

The aim of her book is a 5/5 star rating. The execution is 3/5.

She is plagued by three problems: 1) She's long winded (636 pages!). She gives an avalanche of evidence for each major claim,
Apr 06, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club
Okay. Some worthwhile insights from a fully lived life.
Fran Linhart
thought provoking; now that I'm turning 60, I should read it again.
Amy Hearth
Mar 23, 2012 rated it did not like it
I was disappointed by this book. It was intended to be groundbreaking but it wasn't. Also, same old elitist point of view from Friedan. (See my review of Feminine Mystique.)
Ex Libris Meis
Nobody prepared me to become a mother. Therefore nobody prepared me to become OLD!!! OK, just my husband’s friend, since high school, is allowed to call me “the old one”!!!
My examples of old age were both of my grandmothers having white, wrinkled skin (they were protecting themselves from the sun, while working the field, with scarves and thick tights) but in my mind, they were lovely. My aunts, some of them sophisticated enough to smoke and drink (my mother was vehemently against it), and other
Mar 02, 2018 rated it it was ok
I hate to admit this, but I skimmed most of this book. It is a bit dated, having been published in 2001. I think I would have stopped reading it early in the book, but I kept thinking there would be some momentously sage advice or pronouncement. The narrative style mixed in with the descriptions of Aging and Care of Aged didn't hold my attention. . . until the part where the author went on an Outward Bound excursion. I can relate to Outward Bound because it used to be based in my area, so readin ...more
Sonali Gupta
Aug 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely love this book! It's way ahead of it's time. Reading it for the second time now and I feel this book this book captures research as well as personal stories very beautifully. The writer has combined research, personal experience and a lens that explores age from a very nuanced perspective.
Andrew Hoover
Feb 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Deborah Robinson
Sep 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Very relevant today with the ageing population. I may read it again!
May 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a 1993 book (and a tome at that), so lots of the research she summarizes is dated, but many of her insights are spot on and helpful and still relevant.
Sep 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Feminist Betty Friedan debunks many myths about old age as she shifts then rejuvenates our perspective about what "the third age of life" might mean if we approached it with curiosity, engagement and a sense of utility. Contrary to the constant rhetoric and the general consensus, most of us will not get Alzheimer's or end up in nursing homes so what are we to do with our final years? Though published in 1993, this tome (600+ pages) has much wisdom to impart that doesn't show the wear and tear of ...more
Oct 09, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: on-tape
Listened to this one on tape.

Nice look at what to do about our weird obsession with not dying.

I particularly liked her call for elder care physicians to approach dying less like a disease to be cured or postponed, and more like an eventually to be managed.

Pointed out the cost issue, and the dangers of controlling costs through care, but also the necessity of this. Would like to read more on this particular part of the problem.

Jun 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I like this path of thought. Just say no to medicare drugs. You are only as old as you feel and don't let anyone tell you what you are suppose to feel. It's your life, make the most of it. Age is nothing but mind over matter, if you don't mind, it doesn't matter.
Barbara Osterdock
I own this book
Karen Kortsch
Mar 05, 2010 rated it liked it
Very interesting look at the evolving mind of Betty Friedan. Very long book. Took forever to finish. Lots of interesting ideas on aging to contemplate.
Elizabeth Alford
May 17, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Amazing book. A must read for those interested in thoughtful discussion on our youth-obsessed culture
Nov 03, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Tedious to read
Aug 11, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a must-read for anyone over 50. It's long and academic, but it is one of the most useful on aging and the good or bad choices that need to be made.
May 03, 2012 rated it liked it
Long book with some interesting topics on aging.
Rie Charles
May 09, 2016 rated it liked it
A little dated and from the point of view of a wealthy white woman, but otherwise interesting.
May 06, 2013 added it
got what I needed
Dec 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Friedan does not disappoint in this intriguing perspective on aging.
Catherine Fulton
rated it really liked it
Mar 03, 2017
rated it it was amazing
Sep 06, 2012
rated it really liked it
Sep 18, 2013
Mrs. Jeanine
rated it it was amazing
Feb 15, 2013
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Betty Friedan was an American feminist, activist and writer, best known for starting what is commonly known as the "Second Wave" of feminism through the writing of her book The Feminine Mystique.

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