Theodore Roszak: Nov.1933–July 2011

“Age is often wasted on the old. If the truth be told” said Theodore Roszak in his 2001 book Longevity Revolution “As Boomers Become Elders”. Here he kicked off the 21st century longevity discussion which has since been followed by others like Robert N. Butler his “The Longevity Revolution” and Roszak himself in The Making of an Elder Culture in 2008.

Roszak’s best-known work, as professor at California State University-East Bay, defined the late 60’s era -“The Making of a Counter Culture” (1969), a bestseller that popularized the word “counterculture.” So there’s the brief background. Google for more.

It was Roszak that inspired my thinking in my work with those looking at later life careers, redefining retirement and encouraging others by way of this blog, to take a look at the bigger picture – it’s really a case of planning, financing and maximizing society’s promise of longevity. In tribute, let me share one of my favourite passages from Roszak’s Longevity Revolution.

“Given the fact that more people are going to live longer, it is time to start finding a good social use for those extra years….The common assumption has been that if anybody has the energy and inclination to change the world, it is the young or middle-aged. Just as no utopian thinker ever looked over the historical horizon and saw a world of elderly people waiting to create the good society, no revolutionary ever looked for a following among the old.” 

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