Renowned sociologist Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot challenges the still-prevailing and anachronistic images of aging by documenting and revealing the ways in which the years between ages fifty and seventy-five---the third chapter---may, in fact, be the most transformative and generative time in a person's life.
New opportunities for creativity and self-fulfillment await men and women between the ages of 50 and 75. Sociologist Lawrence-Lightfoot (Balm in Gilead) coins the term "Third Chapter" to describe the rich possibilities as illustrated in her extended interviews with 40 well-educated, affluent Americans. Founding her thesis on classic formulations of life-stage development, particularly that of Erik Erikson, the author offers a wide range of models for people who feel burned out, restless or dissatisfied with their lives, describing how each of her subjects became "a different person." A newspaper executive retires and devotes himself to fiction writing and playing jazz piano; a law firm partner leaves work behind and develops small urban gardens; in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attack, an artist organizes interfaith quilting groups; a neurobiologist moves from the laboratory to the public arena, to work with HIV/AIDS patients in East Africa. Readers feeling that something is missing from their lives, that there is something more they can contribute, will find this book a helpful guide. (Jan.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.