Aging in America: An Introduction to Gerontology. Zins S. Albany, New York. Delmar Publishers Inc. 1987, 337 pages, hardcoyer
Aging in America: An Introduction to Gerontology is a well-organized and readable book for the novice who desires a general overview of the sociological, psychological, and physiological aspects of aging. The book has 12 chapters with each chapter containing learning objectives which the reader should be able to accomplish after reading the chapter. At the end of each chapter, the author provides numerous exercises for the instructor or reader to do with their students or by him or herself. Each chapter also contains a list of review questions and recommended readings and references. The book provides some self-administered and self-scoring quizzes on aging that the reader should find helpful as well as a nice exercise for the classroom or seminar.
Unfortunately, most to the occupations listed are health-related careers which leaves the reader with the image that aging individuals are dependent and ill-healthed. A more positive image could have been presented as well as the numerous occupations that concern themselves with keeping the older population independent. The author failed to mention career opportunities in adult and continuing education, educational gerontology, or continuing professional education.
Although the book is well-written and very readable, it leaves the reader wanting more detail on many sections of the various chapters. Aging in America: An Introduction to Gerontology should be a useful addition to the aging literature and would most likely be used in a secondary school or community college setting. Universities who teach gerontology will probably find the book an excellent secondary text that could be supplemented with some other primary textbook.
Instructors should find the book very useful, particularly with its various exercises, review questions, stated learning objectives and suggested reading lists that are incorporated in each chapter. For the novice, this book should be a good introductory text. However, for individuals more seasoned in the area of gerontology the book adds very little to what is already available.