Synopses & Reviews
From childhood on, we're barraged by messages that it's sad to be old. That wrinkles are embarrassing, and old people useless. Author and activist Ashton Applewhite believed them too until she realized where this prejudice comes from and the damage it does. Lively, funny, and deeply researched, This Chair Rocks traces Applewhite's journey from apprehensive boomer to pro-aging radical, and in the process debunks myth after myth about late life. The book explains the roots of ageism in history and in our own age denial and how it divides and debases, examines how ageist myths and stereotypes cripple the way our brains and bodies function, looks at ageism in the workplace and the bedroom, exposes the cost of the all-American myth of independence, critiques the portrayal of olders as burdens to society, describes what an all-age-friendly world would look like, and concludes with a rousing call to action. It's time to create a world of age equality by making discrimination on the basis of age as unacceptable as any other kind. Whether you re older or hoping to get there, this book will shake you by the shoulders, cheer you up, make you mad, and change the way you see the rest of your life. Age pride!
"Sometimes a writer does us all a great favor and switches on a light. Snap! The darkness vanishes and, in its place we find an electric vision of new ways of living. I want to live in a world where ageism is just a memory, and This Chair Rocks illuminates the path." Dr. Bill Thomas, founder of Changing Aging
"Vibrant, energetic, fact-filled and funny, This Chair Rocks is a call to arms not just for older people but for our whole society." Katha Pollitt, poet, essayist and Nation columnist
"Wow. This book totally rocks. It arrived on a day when I was in deep confusion and sadness about my age—62. Everything about it, from my invisibility to my neck. Within four or five wise, passionate pages, I had found insight, illumination and inspiration. I never use the word empower, but this book has empowered me." Anne Lamott, New York Times best-selling author
About the Author
I didn't set out to become a writer. I went into publishing because I loved to read and didn't have any better ideas. I had a weakness for the kind of jokes that make you cringe and guffaw at the same time. My boss insisted I write them down, which turned into the 1982 best-selling book, Truly Tasteless Jokes, writing as "Blanche Knott."
Currently, I blog at This Chair Rocks, speak widely and am the voice of Yo, Is This Ageist?. I've written for Harper's, Playboy, and many other publications. I have also been on staff at the American Museum of Natural History since 2000, where I write about everything under the sun. In 2015, I was honored to be included in Salt Magazine's list of the world's 100 most inspiring women—along with Angelina Jolie, Elizabeth Warren, Amal Clooney, Aung San Suu Kyi, Naomi Klein, and other remarkable activists—committed to social change.