Summary of Shock of Gray

The aging of the world's population and how it pits young against old, child against parent, worker against boss, company against rival, and nation against nation

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Shock of Gray book summary
The impact of a graying planet on young and old alike…


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If age is just a number, then that number is about to present enormous global consequences in the next few decades. So says veteran journalist Ted C. Fishman in his around-the-world study of how an aging planetary population will affect all aspects of society, including business, government and family life. Fishman’s in-depth study leans heavily on stories, anecdotes and conversations, backed by extensive statistics and impressive academic research. His tales are as entertaining as they are illuminating, pointing out the contradictions, foibles and hard realities of life lived on a graying globe. getAbstract highly recommends Fishman’s all-encompassing look at old age – not just to older people or the middle-aged, but also to members of younger demographics, who are about to embark on an unprecedented journey with their elders into the future.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why the world is aging
  • What impact older citizens and workers will have on society
  • How nations cope with demographic change


The Silver Lining
The estimated life span of a person in ancient Rome was 25; by 1900, that number had advanced only to 30 years old in most of the world. Today, average longevity globally has reached 64. The world’s population is undoubtedly getting older. Medical advances that extend...
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About the Author

Ted C. Fishman writes for The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, National Geographic, The Sunday Times, Harpers, USA Today, GEO and other prominent publications. He is also a frequent keynote speaker.

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