Aging: An Exploration. David P. Barash, Seattle, University of Washington Press, 1983, 247 pages, hardcover, $14.95.
The author, a professor of psychology and zoology, explores the subject of aging in a refreshing, insightful, and entertaining style. Aging is viewed in biological, historical, psychological, sociological, and phiiosophical contexts. An examination of these various dimensions of aging provides the reader with informative and witty materials written in a highly readable narrative. The author addresses the questions of how and why aging occurs and what can be done to reverse it through multiple accounts, anecdotes, research findings, and references.
A chapter describing three remote areas of the world where people live to 100 years or more analyzes the major differences between environmental, social, and cultural factors that influence aging persons in these remote areas, and those who live in the Western world. Implications for aging in the Western world are discussed at length.
The author's comprehensive coverage of aging makes this book a worthwhile one for light and entertaining reading as well as for gerontological students and practitioners who want to broaden their knowledge about aging. Although the author gives a brief description of the biological and sociological theories of aging, a background on the basic concepts of gerontology will help the reader appreciate the content in the book in a more meaningful manner.