Aging Well, by George E. Vaillant

Reading this book will not grant us an escape from eventual death or the inevitable losses of old age. But it can help us to learn from those who have aged well. Since two or three decades of advance notice may be helpful to people as they consider the exigencies of the later years, those in their 40s, 50s and 60s will benefit most from reading the book.

For the past 30 years George Vaillant has been part of the progressive Harvard Study of Adult Development, which began in 1939. A group of Harvard sophomores was interviewed extensively, answered biennial questionnaires, submitted physicians' evaluations every five years, and participated in personal interviews every decade or so into their maturity and old age. As Aging Well was written, these subjects were nearing 80.


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