The Prime of Life?

middle age coverMiddle Age
The Prime of Life?

I like how the title is phrased as a question.

Fiske was an academic and published several articles and books on aging. This book is geared to a non academic audience. If I remember correctly, age discussion was a topic of mainstream popular psychology. Gail Sheehy’s Passages was a 1976 publication that was  a wildly popular that also talked about adult life changes.  I actually remember reading Sheehy’s book back in college.

When I picked up this book, I immediately thought this was a less interesting version of Sheehy’s book. Fiske had some serious research credentials and unfortunately her book suffered from poor book design and some less than awesome photos/illustrations. Please take a look at the last 2 pictures on the page. Now I am wondering what will happen if I get too stressed.

Considering I read Passages in the late 1970s and I am now a qualified senior citizen, I really need to go back and reread Passages. Now that I think about it, Sheehy’s book might be a good idea for a book club discussion for those of us of a certain age.

Now get off my lawn, I need to go shop for a tacky blue jogging suit.


back cover

how old is middle age

elder care


inner and outer resources


  1. Wow. So, the last two pictures…as I get older, will I either feel compelled to strip in public or to dress outlandishly? Is there no in-between? I despair.

    1. Fear not, Christina — I’m over 55 and have yet to either walk around trouserless or in green polyester and a giant brass instrument. (I’d be more embarrassed about the latter, frankly!)

      But things were different in the 70s. (I also didn’t do either back then.)

      1. Trying to read the caption I came up with “Trying to play the *euphemism* may give a lifetime’s pleasure—but the freedom to play the buffoon can be a specific reward of middle age”.

  2. The first two page spreads remind me of my college developmental psych textbook… The last two, not so much. LOL.

  3. Top of pg 37: Oooo that is the most depressing picnic table picture. I’m glad it is sunny outside right now.
    Back cover: dirty.

  4. As someone who’s been involved in re-enactor groups, I didn’t bat an eyelash at the last one. I get weirder things than him free with my breakfast cereal.

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