“Vibrant, energetic, fact-filled and funny, This Chair Rocks is a call to arms not just for older people but for our whole society.”
Katha Pollitt, poet, essayist, and Nation columnist
Ashton Applewhite is a leading voice in an emerging movement dedicated to dismantling ageism and making age a criterion for diversity. Known for her 2017 TED Talk with almost 1.5 million views Applewhite asks us to look at ageism — the assumption that older people are alike and that aging impoverishes us. In This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism she reveals the untapped possibilities of late life—in our communities, at work, and in ourselves.
From childhood on, we’re barraged by messages that it’s sad to be old. That wrinkles are embarrassing, and old people useless. Author and activist Ashton Applewhite believed them too—until she realized where this prejudice comes from and the damage it does. Lively, funny, and deeply researched, This Chair Rocks traces Applewhite’s journey from apprehensive boomer to pro-aging radical, and in the process debunks myth after myth about late life. The book explains the roots of ageism—in history and in our own age denial—and how it divides and debases, examines how ageist myths and stereotypes cripple the way our brains and bodies function, looks at ageism in the workplace and the bedroom, exposes the cost of the all-American myth of independence, critiques the portrayal of olders as burdens to society, describes what an all-age-friendly world would look like, and concludes with a rousing call to action. Whether you’re older or hoping to get there, this book will shake you by the shoulders, cheer you up, make you mad, and change the way you see the rest of your life. Age pride!
Author and activist Ashton Applewhite has been recognized by the New York Times, The New Yorker, National Public Radio, and the American Society on Aging as an expert on ageism. She blogs at This Chair Rocks, speaks widely around the world, has written for Harper’s and Playboy, and is the voice of Yo, Is This Ageist? In 2016, she joined the PBS site Next Avenue’s annual list of 50 Influencers in Aging as their Influencer of the Year.
More about Ashton Applewhite
Washington Post, March 2016
It’s no longer okay to be sexist or racist. She asks why it’s still okay to be ageist.
New York Times, October 2017
Working to Disarm Women’s Anti-Aging Demon
Ashton Applewhite on Twitter
Ashton Applewhite’s Website
“Anti-ageism now boasts a popular champion, activist, and epigrammatist in the lineage of Martial and Dorothy Parker. Until This Chair Rocks we haven’t had a single compact book that blows up myths seven to a page like fireworks.”
Los Angeles Review of Books
A book signing will follow the lecture. The author’s current book will be available for sale from Classic Lines.
Daytime Event at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh – Squirrel Hill
Also join us for a free discussion with Ashton Applewhite at CLP Squirrel Hill on Wednesday, March 20, 2019 from 10:30 AM–11:30 a.m. Register online through the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.
Presented in partnership with Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures and Virtual Senior Academy.
Sponsored by Jewish Healthcare Foundation
The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Pittsburgh