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Aging: The Paradox of Life : Why We Age Hardcover – 30 Mar 2007


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"Aging: The Paradox of Life, a new book by the scientist Robin Holliday, dispels ignorance by explaining in non-technical language the reasons for aging and the myth of excessive prolongation of life. He writes in an engaging style and with clarity, appealing to the general public and scientists alike." (Medical News Today, July, 2007)

"A slim book that serves as a reality check for the hyperbole and misinformation surrounding attempts at slowing or preventing senescence. … Written in mostly nontechnical language for a general audience, the book consists of 16 brief chapters, a short list of scientific references, and a glossary. … Aging: The Paradox of Life capitalizes on a fascinating topic of interest to everyone. The book is a quick read but geared toward a general audience … ." (Tony Miksanek, Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol. 298 (4), 2007)

"Aging is no longer an unsolved problem in biology … . The book succeeds in one regard … questions and others important in aging research are introduced in language accessible to the non-expert … . It seems likely that most researchers in the aging filed would agree with the author … . In the end, we are left with a colorful and entertaining just-so story about aging, evolution and the meaning of life that provides insight into the world-view of the author … ." (John Tower, BioEssays, Vol. 29 (11), 2007)

"Books about ageing are coming thick and fast as the implications of an ageing population become evident. Many are for academics, while others aim for a popular audience. This book attempts to reach both. … Would I recommend this book to students? Yes … . Would I recommend it to a layperson? Again, yes. … it is a good read." (Anthea Tinker, Times Higher Education Supplement, November, 2007)

"This is a single-authored discussion of aging, its causes, mechanisms, and implications, written for a lay public. Its purpose is to explain the mechanisms of aging and to dispel exaggerated claims of anti-aging medicine. These are worthy objectives and the book meets them all in style. … The elegant British style of biological writing evident here makes this book a particular pleasure to read. For those working in the field of aging without an extensive biomedical background, this is a really excellent read." (David O. Staats, Doody’s Review Service, April, 2008)

"This is a short popular book written by a famous geneticist and biogerontologist. ... In just 132 pages, he presents to general readers his personal understanding of the biological aging process ... and many other topics, such as the origin of religion and human warfare. ... Overall, this volume may be of interest to the general public, as it helps to balance the current bold optimistic expectations for the future of human life span and life extension with a healthy dose of skepticism." (Leonid A. Gavrilov and Natalia S. Gavrilova, The Quarterly Review of Biology, Vol. 83 (3), September, 2008)


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Amazon.com: 2 reviews
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
A quick read, and a good addition if you are interesting in aging research 13 Jan. 2011
By john bryson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is well written and easy to follow. I disagreed with many of the authors conclusions, but I thought he brought up some interesting ideas, like the brain being a single point of failure. But he fails to realize the single points of failure are common in any system, and as long as they have lots of redundancy built in, like our brains do, then this isn't really a problem. He also seems to recognize places where single points of failure (heart, brain) have little or no _natural_ repair, but disparages medical advances that make such 'natural' issues irrelevant. For example, for heart replacement, stem cells could make surgery unneeded, but if you like surgery as an answer, there are some really amazing things on the horizon that make his arguments somewhat dated [...]

In fact, it feels like the author has a negative thesis that people can't live longer, and then sets out to prove that aging is not a solvable problem. I'm afraid that he makes some good points, but fails to prove his thesis.

Nevertheless, I found the book interesting reading, and thought provoking. And it could be valuable teaching aid, albeit a bit dated (2007)
A remarkable insight into human aging 6 Oct. 2014
By jw wright - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Robin Holliday's "Aging: The Paradox of Life: Why We Age" is a remarkable insight into aging.
Along with "Understanding Ageing", and "The Science of Human Progress" give a complete understanding WHY we must age.
The three books occupy 3 the first 5 positions on my bookshelf.

Basically, if we had not aged and died, we would not have had the chance to evolve to our position in the animal kingdom.
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