UNDERSTANDING MEN'S PASSAGES by Gail Sheehy

UNDERSTANDING MEN'S PASSAGES

Discovering the New Map of Men's Lives
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Despite some facile passages, the bestselling journalist Sheehy (Passages, 1976; New Passages, 1995; etc.) has done it again: engaged in a good deal of research, interviewed many of the right people, and then produced a beautifully readable, very useful guide to important aspects of adult human development. Her focus is both descriptive—charting the changing nature of American men’s lives from the “second adulthood” that often begins between ages 40 and 50, through the attempt to live a vigorous, still-evolving old age—and prescriptive, helping men to rethink their lives in order to make a “preemptive strike against sameness and sourness.” Sheehy’s overly and redundantly upbeat tone can indeed be grating at times, and she does venture her share of insipid, undocumented generalizations: “Women are happier in midlife than they have been in any previous generation” (tell that to the economically downwardly mobile divorced women studied by Judith Wallerstein). But the author more than compensates for such passages by picking just the right variety of professionals and laypeople with whom to speak, by asking probing questions, listening well, and (usually) writing even better. The cumulative mass of her information, observations, and anecdotes is immensely impressive, addressing a wide variety of issues related to middle-aged men’s dilemmas--from being laid off abruptly to beginning a new career, from impotence to sexuality among the aged, from depression (and new findings about its close correlation with heart attacks) to struggling for emotional regeneration. Much of this will help thousands of men and women alike. Credit also should go to both author and publisher for doing a first-rate job on a commonly overlooked aspect of popular books: providing crisp, imaginative headings and an appealing layout. This is a rare work of engaging and substantive pop-psych that is perfectly balanced between psychology and the —popular.— (Author tour)

Pub Date: May 1st, 1998
ISBN: 0-679-45273-7
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Random House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 1998




MORE BY GAIL SHEEHY

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NonfictionMIDDLETOWN, AMERICA by Gail Sheehy
by Gail Sheehy
NonfictionNEW PASSAGES by Gail Sheehy
by Gail Sheehy

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