Finding the Fountain of Youth
The Science and Controversy behind Extending Life and Cheating Death
by Aharon W. Zorea
April 2017, 389pp, 7x10
1 volume, Greenwood

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-3798-2
$98, £73, 85€, A133
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-3799-9
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

From quests for the fountain of youth to cryogenic freezing, we have always sought ways to prevent aging and extend our lifetimes.

Separating truth from hype, this book introduces readers to the topic of life extension in a holistic manner that provides scientific, historical, and cultural perspectives.

While the story of 16th-century explorer Juan Ponce de León futilely searching for the Fountain of Youth is likely a myth, it is true that for many centuries, mankind has sought “a cure for aging.” Today, the anti-aging and longevity industry is a multibillion-dollar industry, and medical advances are continuing to find ways to add to our time on earth. Finding the Fountain of Youth: The Science and Controversy behind Extending Life and Cheating Death introduces readers to the topic of life extension in a holistic manner, examining the topic through scientific, historical, and cultural perspectives. It also highlights key medical and ethical controversies related to this particular area of gerontology and serves as a gateway for further research and study.

The book’s chapters address the history of movements to remain youthful, from ancient times through the modern era; past medical advances that significantly extended the average lifespan; and our cultural obsession with “staying young” that has spawned the anti-aging industry. Readers will learn about basic principles of aging and anti-aging, as well as the science behind the methods—both proven and hypothetical—that serve to extend the lifespan. The final section of the book examines controversial issues and debates related to life extension, such as global overpopulation, length of life versus quality of life, and socioeconomic concerns.


  • Examines the topic of extending human life in a holistic, unbiased manner, exploring the subject from a variety of perspectives and contexts
  • Provides readers with additional insights into current controversies and debates related to the subject
  • Includes sidebars that offer additional high-interest, ready-reference content as well as a list of resources, a bibliography, and an index
Aharon W. Zorea, PhD, is full professor of history at the University of Wisconsin–Richland. His published works include In the Image of God: A Christian Response to Capital Punishment; Greenwood's Birth Control and Steroids; and more than 60 articles on politics and legal and social policy. Zorea holds a doctorate in policy history from Saint Louis University.


"Educators can find many uses for incorporating this book into their courses. The author succeeds in his purposive healing by covering the physical, intellectual, and emotional journey of faith regarding the search for the fountain of youth. Summing Up: Recommended. All readers."—Choice, December 1, 2017

"Diverse reading populations are likely to find this information of interest. . . . The biomedical history in particular is worth reading. All but school libraries serving young children should consider it."—ARBAonline, December 9, 2017
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