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The Prime of Life

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James Baillie, CC/public domain
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The Life and Age of Man-Stages of Man's Life, from the Cradle to the Grave

For centuries, people thought of their lives as passing through distinct stages. A child became an adult and then an elder. That middle stage, adulthood, was regarded as the prime of life. But historian Steven Mintz says that way of thinking is “profoundly misleading.” Human development, he says, is an ongoing process, one with peaks and troughs rather than simply steps up and down life’s stairway. Mintz joins us to explore how what it means to grow up has fundamentally changed. (Rebroadcast)

Steven Mintz is a professor of history at the University of Texas at Austin Executive Director of the University of Texas System’s Institute for Transformational Learning. His books include Huck’s Raft: A History of American Childhood [Amazon|Indiebound] and, his newest, The Prime of Life: A History of Modern Adulthood [Amazon|Indiebound].

  • Listen to our 2005 conversation (rebroadcast in 2007) with Steven Mintz about his book Huck's Raft. Find it here.
Doug Fabrizio has been reporting for KUER News since 1987, and became News Director in 1993. In 2001, he became host and executive producer of KUER's RadioWest, a one hour conversation/call-in show on KUER 90.1 in Salt Lake City. He has gained a reputation for his thoughtful style. He has interviewed everyone from Isabel Allende to the Dalai Lama, and from Madeleine Albright to Desmond Tutu. His interview skills landed him a spot as a guest host of the national NPR program, "Talk of the Nation." He has won numerous awards for his reporting and for his work with RadioWest and KUED's Utah NOW from such organizations as the Society of Professional Journalists, the Utah Broadcasters Association, the Public Radio News Directors Association and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
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  • For centuries, people thought of their lives as passing through distinct stages. A child became an adult and then an elder. That middle stage, adulthood,…