No Country for Old Age

America's War on Aging from Valley Forge to Silicon Valley

By Mischa Honeck

No Country for Old Age

Approx. 304 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 23 halftones

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-8097-2
    Published: January 2025
  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4696-8096-5
    Published: January 2025

Paperback Available January 2025, but pre-order your copy today!

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Since the birth of their nation, Americans have acted on the belief that theirs was a land of youth, a place destined to offer a fresh start to an aging world. No Country for Old Age tells this story from the founding period to our present moment, but not without exposing its darker side: rejuvenation has often bred grand expectations before ending in division and despair.  

Mischa Honeck reveals how Americans of diverse backgrounds have sought not only to feel and look younger but also to breathe new life into their communities. Whether marching under the banners of science, public health, sexual liberation, physical fitness, nation-building, or world peace, these youth seekers have tended to paint their ventures in utopian colors. However, from the founders to today's Silicon Valley elites, anti-aging ventures have repeatedly magnified social inequalities, often projecting visions of society that were unmistakably classist, racist, misogynist, and ageist. Today we are experiencing rejuvenation's Janus-faced legacy: as transhumanists rhapsodize about cyber-enhancing human bodies, ghastly pandemics, old-age poverty, and shrinking life expectancies are poised to become the new normal for many twenty-first-century Americans.

About the Author

Mischa Honeck is professor of North American history at the University of Kassel, Germany.
For more information about Mischa Honeck, visit the Author Page.

Reviews

"An insightful and readable history of rejuvenation as a medical practice and cultural concept that pushes analytical boundaries to show how age functions as a vector of power. Original and new in its scope and method, Honeck gives us a global and intersectional analysis of rejuvenation available nowhere else."—Corinne T. Field, University of Virginia and author of Age in America: Colonial Era to the Present