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Successful Aging

A Neuroscientist Explores the Power and Potential of Our Lives
Written by: Daniel J Levitin
Narrated by: Daniel J Levitin
Length: 18 hrs and 37 mins
5 out of 5 stars (4 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Instant top 10 best seller • New York TimesUSA TodayWashington PostLA Times

"Debunks the idea that aging inevitably brings infirmity and unhappiness and instead offers a trove of practical, evidence-based guidance for living longer and better." (Daniel H. Pink, author of When and Drive)

Successful Aging delivers powerful insights:

  • Debunking the myth that memory always declines with age
  • Confirming that "health span" - not "life span" - is what matters
  • Proving that 60-plus years is a unique and newly recognized developmental stage
  • Recommending that people look forward to joy, as reminiscing doesn't promote health

Levitin looks at the science behind what we all can learn from those who age joyously, as well as how to adapt our culture to take full advantage of older people's wisdom and experience. Throughout his exploration of what aging really means, using research from developmental neuroscience and the psychology of individual differences, Levitin reveals resilience strategies and practical, cognitive enhancing tricks everyone should do as they age.

Successful Aging inspires a powerful new approach to how listeners think about our final decades, and it will revolutionize the way we plan for old age as individuals, family members, and citizens within a society where the average life expectancy continues to rise.

©2020 Daniel J Levitin (P)2020 Penguin Audio

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  • Mother of Chickens
  • 2020-01-30

Prejudiced and snooty

I had great expectations for this book based on praise of the author's previous book, but I found the author's prejudice and snootiness made listening to this book an irritating experience. This is particularly true in his Diet chapter, where he demonstrates a clear prejudice against the Paleo lifestyle. He lumps 'Paleo' into a group of unhealthy 'trendy diets' -- along with the 'cotton-ball diet' and other strange diets that I never heard of. He then moves on to actually advocate the principles of the Paleo lifestyle -- while injecting little snippy disparaging comments about Paleo for some unspoken reason. His 'know-it-all' attitude is undercut by (1) his apparent lack of research into what is actually advocated in the 'Paleo lifestyle' or (2) some unspoken conflict that he has with the Paleo community (or someone within it). The author sites a large number of studies, but fails to highlight past failures of our scientific community that led to the 'war on fats' and a series of governmental dietary guidelines that led to a generations of increasingly unhealthy Americans. The author fails to identify specific issues that he has with the Paleo lifestyle. He also fails to explain why the vast majority of the functional medicine community recommends the Paleo autoimmune protocol for healing the immune system and then the Paleo lifestyle for enabling the human body to thrive. Seeing chronically sick people return to state of wellness under the care of functional medicine doctors will convince you of the power of nutrition and other aspects of the paleo lifestyle. I could not recommend this 18+ hours book to others. Citing the results of research is great, but this book fails to synthesize the research in a positive way to enlighten the reader with 'actionable' information they can use to improve their lives in a meaningful way. On the other hand, if you are a research junkie, you might still find it enjoyable to hear the large volume of study results that the author assembled in this book -- most of which are valid.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Sharon Bukstein
  • 2020-02-07

Physician endorsement

As a physician I would rate this book 5 stars. It is enter, very well researched and evidence based. It is truly a state of our knowledge book about the human mind as we understand it in 2020.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Sharon
  • 2020-06-21

Rambling and often irrelevant content.

I love the theories on aging but trying to listen to find them is tedious. Listening to a long lecture on the Sociological failings of the IQ testing methods is really not relevant to keeping my mind young. I’m not really taking IQ tests at 60 and just want to know how to keep my mind young with what I’m starting with not how the education system fails. It seems so much if this is rambling academic exercises in theory development.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Patrick J. Oconnor
  • 2020-05-25

Inconsistent interpretation of research findings.

This is an enjoyable book overall, but especially in the first third if the book, the author takes positions that are inconsistent with research findings in various subjects, or conveys a sense of certainty that exceeds what we know on complex issues.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2020-02-14

compelling, informative and even fun

The writer provides important information interesting not only for those of us interested in aging issues but anyone interested in brain health, and other health issues. The narrator/author does a terrific job presenting this information.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Cheryl
  • 2020-02-28

Not what I expected. Too in depth.

Not what I expected. Too detailed. I am not a fan. Too long for me.