Baby boomers have dominated American culture for five decades and now they're ready to change the country into a "gerontocracy." In the year 2000, 76 million Americans will pass age 50. Ken Dychtwald, a psychologist and best-selling author of Age Wave, states: "How we decide to behave as elders will, in all likelihood, become the most important challenge we will face in our lives." The author sees this book as a wake-up call offering preventative solutions to the age-related challenges to be faced by individuals and the society at large.

After outlining how baby boomers will benefit from new life-extension technologies, Dychtwald discusses several priorities, including changing the threshold of eligibility for "old age" entitlement program, finding ways to make sure that the healthcare system of the future will be able to handle age-related chronic conditions, dealing with the caregiving crunch of tomorrow when the average American will spend more years caring for parents than for children, and creating more productive roles for elders in the last stages of their lives.

Now is the time for citizens and politicians to begin dealing with the long-term developments linked to the graying of America. Dychtwald's thought-provoking work is a good place to start.