The Gerontologist, Vol 36, Issue 4 448-453, Copyright © 1996 by The Gerontological Society of America
"Song of ourselves": a quantitative history of American autobiographies
JS Levin and TR Cole
Department of Family and Community Medicine, Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk 23501, USA.
This article highlights the major descriptive findings of an exploratory,
quantitative study of American autobiographies published before 1945. Of
particular importance for gerontology, age-cohort distributions of
autobiographers are graphed, demonstrating that the genre itself has been
created predominantly by men and women aged 55 and over. This study
suggests that these writers offer scholars a virtually untapped resource
for the historical phenomenology of aging.