The Big 100: The New World of Super-Aging

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Product Details
$28.99  $26.96
Diversion Books
Publish Date
6.0 X 9.1 X 1.4 inches | 1.1 pounds

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About the Author
William J. Kole, recently retired as the New England news editor for Associated Press, is a veteran journalist and former foreign correspondent who has reported from North America, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. The grandson of a woman who lived a few months shy of 104, Kole has been writing about extreme longevity since the 1990s, when he was based in Paris and told the world the extraordinary story of Jeanne Calmest, who lived to 122. His many awards include one from the Society of American Business Editors & Writers for an investigation into the exploitation of undocumented immigrants by the Walmart retail chain. This is his first book. He speaks French, Dutch, and German, and resides in Warwick, Rhode Island.


"More and more people are living for 100 years--or longer. William J. Kole uses his knowledge and personal experiences to suggest how we can use these bonus years to best advantage, for ourselves and others. With beautiful prose and a sense of fun, The Big 100 is stimulating and inspiring. You should definitely read it."
--Dr. Jane Goodall, founder of the Jane Goodall Institute & UN Messenger of Peace

"The Big 100 is an entertaining challenge to all of us to rethink the second half of our lives. Provocative and fun."

--Dr. John Beard, director, International Longevity Center

"William J. Kole is more than a brilliant journalist and dazzling storyteller. He is a time traveler. Kole is our guide to a coming world of super-longevity and what it means for health systems, policy makers and the very fabric of families and communities. The Big 100 is our future. There is no more compelling story."
--Brian Murphy, author of 81 Days Below Zero: The Incredible Survival Story of a World War II Pilot in Alaska's Frozen Wilderness

"With rapidly aging populations across the world and longer lives ahead, William J. Kole's The Big 100 could not have come at a more important time. It's a compelling call to action for everyone interested in the challenges and opportunities of our great demographic shift and the potential for longer, healthier, and more fulfilling lives."
--Paul Irving, founding chair of the Milken Institute's Center for the Future of Aging and distinguished scholar-in-residence at the University of Southern California's Leonard Davis School of Gerontology

"Optimizing human longevity was arguably the greatest achievement of the last century, thanks in great part to the successes of public health. Enabling healthy longevity and the assets that older people contribute to the world will be our all-of-society challenge for the current generation. William J. Kole's book gives us a basis for envisioning the society we want to design for all of our longer lives as we each approach the big 100."
--Dr. Linda P. Fried, dean of Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health and director of the Robert N. Butler Columbia Aging Center

"Do I want to live to 100? I don't know. But I do know that in The Big 100, journalist William J. Kole makes me think about it with a newfound appreciation for the science of aging. I had never truly considered the enormous societal cost of people living longer until The Big 100. Centenarians are the fastest-growing segment of our population, and Kole forces us to ask if we are ready for that tectonic demographic shift. Kole provides valuable perspective around the science of aging, the impact on society as people reach that milestone, and some heartwarming personal touches."
--Doug Most, bestselling author of The Race Underground: Boston, New York, and the Incredible Rivalry that Built America's First Subway

"None of us knows whether we'll make it to 'The Big 100, ' but regardless
of age, all of us should make sure we have a copy of William J. Kole's
book on our shelf! In a readable style and an easy voice, Kole uses hard
data and personal stories to explore everything important about the
aging journey--finances, health, work, diet, dignity, laughter, and
love. The Big 100 tells the most human story in the most human terms."
--Stephen Puleo, author of Dark Tide, The Caning, and Voyage of Mercy

"The Big 100 points the way to a great long life without
minimizing pain or the emotional weight of mortality. Using the latest
scientific evidence for optimism and telling inspiring, sometimes
amusing, stories of people as old as a hundred and more, William J. Kole
shows how you can find joy in life right up to your last days on
--Francine Russo, bestselling author of Love After Fifty: How to Find It, Enjoy It, and Keep It

"Many people say they want to live to be a hundred, but beyond pension plans and good insurance, there's not really much of a road map for getting the most from that incredible milestone. William J. Kole's cogent exploration of 'super-agers' is a blueprint for living your best life long after most people are preparing to check out. I'm truly energized about my golden years in ways I wouldn't have thought possible."
--Rachel Jones, National Press Foundation

"Deeply researched and reported, written in brisk, sharp prose, William J. Kole's probing exploration of the implications of longevity and an ever-expanding lifespan is a compelling and vital read. It's a timely and fascinating analysis of the cultural, economic, racial, medical, philosophical, societal and political upsides and downsides of the coming global surge in the number of centenarians. It's also great storytelling and a provocative look ahead at what the future of aging means for us all."
--Neal Thompson, author of The First Kennedys: The Humble Roots of an American Dynasty and A Curious Man: The Strange & Brilliant Life of Robert 'Believe It or Not' Ripley