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Exit: The Endings That Set Us Free Hardcover – May 22, 2012

3.8 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

With her trademark grace and insight, Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot has added exit lines to her repertoire. in Exit, she is a superb storyteller and a wise guide to the inevitable farewells that punctuate our lives and often set us free. (Ellen Goodman, author of Paper Trail: Common Sense in Uncommon Times)

In searching for the grace and courage of exits at every stage in the life cycle, Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot offers insights into the deeper continuities that exits can affirm, binding us together and emphasizing the meaning in the composition of our lives. She argues the need for our culture to evolve rituals that express these enduring values in facing the unknown. (Mary Catherine Bateson, author of Composing a Further Life: The Age of Active Wisdom)

The resonant testimonials Lawrence-Lightfoot spotlights nicely dovetail into a conclusion befitting her research into the inevitability of departures and our individual choice to accept or bemoan them. A finely researched examination that sheds a new light on the catharsis of goodbye. (Kirkus Reviews)

Lawrence-Lightfoot has penned an examination of how people exit careers, countries, and even life. Believing that the small departures we make daily prepare us for the large ones--emigration, divorce, death--the author argues that each is a drama of ambivalence, decision-making, and epiphany . . . (Publishers Weekly)

About the Author

Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot, a MacArthur prize-winning sociologist, is the Emily Hargroves Fisher Professor of Education at Harvard University, where, since 1972, she has studied the culture of families, communities, and schools, and the relationships between human development and social change. She is the author of ten books, including The Third Chapter, Respect, The Essential Conversation, and Balm in Gilead, which won the 1988 Christopher Award for "literary merit and humanitarian achievement." In 1993, she was awarded Harvard's George Ledlie Prize for research that makes "the most valuable contribution to science" and is to "the benefit of mankind." She is the recipient of twenty-eight honorary degrees and is the first African-American woman in Harvard's history to have an endowed professorship named in her honor.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Sarah Crichton Books; First Edition edition (May 22, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374151199
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374151195
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.9 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,151,898 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot is the Emily Hargroves Fisher Professor of Education at Harvard and the chair of the board of the MacArthur Foundation. As a sociologist, she examines the culture of schools, the patterns and structures of classroom life, socialization within families and communities, and the relationships between culture and learning styles.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I had leaved jobs, friends, family, three different degrees, my country ... and I still do not know how to make peace with the exit process. This book give me lots of insides and new ways to see this never-ending process exit. If you ever had avoid to say good bye, read it! Amazing book!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Caveat: Comments based on reading only about two thirds of the book - could not finish it.

Overall I found this book to be very tedious - one lengthy and overly detailed account after another of interviews with people who have experienced some kind of "exit", but few meaningful insights or useful "take aways". I do not recommend this book unless perhaps you have an academic / research interest in the topic - and even then I recommend buying at a used book shop.
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Format: Hardcover
Timely as thousands of Americans are exiting: jobs through downsizing, business closures; homes through foreclosure; and service members exiting Iraq and Afghanistan. Lightfoot delivers the positive components of exits. Inspiring and motivational. Focuses on looking forward not back. The take home message is that exiting is not failure but an opportunity for growth and achievement.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
i bought this book for my qualitative research methods class and it was amazing t read through! Amazing. It teaches how to ask qualitative questions, gives applications of lessons the reader has learned about her own qualitative research, and shows the power of empathy and being considerate of others' feelings, and teaches how relieving it can be to exit certain negative situations, as well as rewarding to leave positive ones after much work, time and effort have been put into something or someplace.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book because I listened to an interview of the author on public radio. The author was interesting and informative; she gave a great interview. This piqued my interest, so I bought the book. The book is not as interesting as the author. Reading this book was like reading a master's thesis...informative, but not too entertaining. I read the book, but it has been already donated to the church rummage sale.
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By Marta Mountjoy on September 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The best book I have seen that helps us let go of issues and is so easy to read and understand. A real keeper. Marta
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Lawrence-Lightfoot's believes that we do not pay enough attention to the exits in our future-oriented culture. By recognizing that exits are part of life and honoring them with ritual and honest reflection, she feels we can actually feel liberated by the choices and changes we make, however difficult or painful they may be. Unfortunately, the choice she makes of focusing her chapters on individuals who have made big exits in their lives is too narrow, leaving the reader sifting through these highly personal anecdotal accounts for more universal and useful strategies about making their own exits in life.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This title was suggested by a friend, but I found it hard to relate to. I did try a number of the accounts and finally gave it up.
It make speak to some but it did not to me.
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