That’s what AARP says about Ashton Applewhite and her book, “This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism.”

As Ms. Applewhite is appearing as Ithaca College Gerontology Institute’s Distinguished Speaker this fall, we thought it would be AMAZING to read and talk about her book together!

You are invited to join us for a 10 week online community book read, culminating in Ms. Applewhite’s appearance at Ithaca College on Monday, October 23, 2017.

The Ithaca College Gerontology Institute is partnering with Lisa Kendall, Clinical Gerontologist and pro-aging advocate, to offer this informative, thought-provoking, and paradigm-busting conversation about age and aging in America.

About the Book   

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!

Buy the book here.


Click HERE to register for the online study


Chapters will be rolled out weekly starting August 14th, 2017, and include:

Week #1 – Introduction: Welcome! Get your bearings and become familiar with the community conversation board, links, etc.

Week #2 – Chapter 1: The Problem with Ageism

Week #3 – Chapter 2: Our Ages, Ourselves – Identity

Week #4 – Chapter 3: Forget Memory – the Older Brain

Week #5 – Chapter 4: Health, Not Youth – the Older Body

Week #6 – Chapter 5: No Expiration Date – Sex and Intimacy

Week #7 – Chapter 6: Not Done Yet – the Workplace

Week #8 – Chapter 7: Long Life is a Team Sport – the Independence Trap

Week#9 – Chapter 8: The Bull Looks Different – the End of Life

Week#10 – Chapter 9: Occupy Age! Beyond Ageism

Click HERE to register for the online study


“Wow. This book totally rocks. It arrived on a day when I was in deep confusion and sadness about my age—62. Everything about it, from my invisibility to my neck. Within four or five wise, passionate pages, I had found insight, illumination and inspiration. I never use the word empower, but this book has empowered me.”               ANNE LAMOTT, New York Times best-selling author


“Along comes Ashton Applewhite with a book we have been waiting for.  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


“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


“Sometimes a writer does us all a great favor and switches on a light.  Snap! The darkness vanishes and, in its place we find an electric vision of new ways of living. I want to live in a world where ageism is just a memory, and This Chair Rocks illuminates the path.”    DR. BILL THOMAS, founder of Changing Aging


“This Chair Rocks is radical, exuberant, and full of all sorts of facts that erase many of the myths and beliefs about late life.  As Applewhite defines and describes ageism, new ways of seeing and being in the world emerge, empowering everyone to see things as they  really are.”     LAURIE ANDERSON, artist


“A knowledgeable, straight-talking, and witty book that briskly explains to anyone how-wrong-we-are-about-aging. There’s radical news here to enlighten the most ‘done’ starlet, and
tart turns of phrase to captivate the most expert age critic: ‘All aging is “successful”—not  just the sporty version—otherwise you’re dead.’ This pithy primer ought  ideally to be given to every American adolescent—to inoculate them  against the lies and stereotypes that can spoil the long life course  they will all want.” Margaret Morganroth Gullette, author of Aged by Culture and the prize-winning Agewise and Declining to Decline


“A smart and stirring call to add ageism to the list of ‘isms’ that divide us, and to mobilize against it. Applewhite shows how ageism distorts our view of old age, and urges us to challenge age- based prejudices in ourselves and in society. An important wake-up call for  any baby boomer who’s apprehensive about growing old.”   Pepper Schwartz, Professor of Sociology, University of Washington and AARP’s Official Love & Relationship Ambassador


“Finally, a take-down of the last acceptable prejudice. Applewhite  eloquently and expertly exposes the structural discrimination that makes  growing older so much harder than it should be—not just for the white,  affluent, healthy, and able-bodied, but for women, people of color,  people with disabilities, and poor people. Full of treasures, This Chair Rocks should be required reading for everyone in aging services, to help us confront ageism in our personal and professional lives and join forces against it. As Applewhite writes, ‘It’s time for Age Pride.’”    Donna Corrado, Commissioner, NYC Department for the Aging


“An eloquent and well-researched exposé of the prejudice that feeds age bias, and a passionate argument to mobilize against it. This must-read book is also a fun-read for every age.”   Stephanie Coontz, author, The Way We Never Were: American Families and the Nostalgia Trap


“To live agefully – what a wonderful word! With warmth, wit and  clarity, Ashton Applewhite explains what it means, while never falling  into age-denial or age-shame. This is a book packed with provocative and  liberating ideas, to make you leap into the air with pleasure – even if  your knees, like mine, are a little dodgy.”       Anne Karpf, author of How to Age

Click HERE to register for the online study

About Ashton Applewhite

“Smart, sassy and oh so wise.”   AARP


“Ashton Applewhite is a visionary whose time has come, tackling one of the most persistent biases of our day with originality, verve, and   humor. Her magic formula of naming and shaming may just shake all of us   out of complacency and it into action. Whether you relate through being older now or recognize that aging is in your future, this is one of the most important books you’ll ever read.”   Marc Freedman, CEO of and author of The Big Shift: Navigating the New Life Stage Before Midlife

Click HERE to register for the online study



*Materials and reviews adapted from

The Ithaca College Gerontology Institute Page on this event can be found at:

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