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Golden Men: The Power of Gay Midlife Paperback – February 8, 2000


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Golden Men: The Power of Gay Midlife + Are You Ready?: The Gay Man's Guide to Thriving at Midlife
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; First Edition edition (February 8, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0380804433
  • ISBN-13: 978-0380804436
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #571,564 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Not too long ago, gay men reaching middle age were expected to "retire" from social life, much like divorc?es. But today's first "out" generation, having lost many to AIDS and made considerable political progress, has forged new paths; for these men, this book will provide insights and affirmations that might make their passages easier. Lucidly charting the progress of the gay male "Golden Boy" on his journey to becoming a "Golden Man," Kooden, a clinical psychologist, with writer Flowers divides the subject into three areasABody, Mind and SoulAeach of which is illustrated with anecdotes from Kooden's own life and those of men he has known, followed by penetrating questions that aim to help readers examine their own lives. Many of the book's telling and often eloquent observations spring from Kooden's years of counseling gays wrestling with the end of youth (and its subcultural amusements) without "traditional" comforts and obligations (such as offspring and sanctioned marriages). However, these sharp, sensible insights are built primarily on personal observation of a handful of men rather than large-scale, rigorous studies, and thus point up the lack of clinical research in this budding field of inquiry. Though Kooden and Flowers make an admirable attempt to dissect a big, important subject, their effort also reveals the need for more rigorous inquiry into the cultural peculiarities, and political and social obstacles, that diverse legions of gay men confront in a still intolerant world. Agent, Jed Mattes. (June)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

"A long overdue guide to understanding and appreciating the rewards a gay man's middle years can yield. This book is a gift from a caring and insightful therapist, drawing on thirty years of professional experience and his own personal jouney to maturity." -- Betty Berzon, Ph.D., author of Permanent Partners, Positively Gay, and The Intimacy Dance

"One would never know, after looking though the past fifty books written about gay life, that homosexual men reach middle age. The roaring hormones of youth have always taken precedent over maturity. Kooden, in what is certain to be the seminal work on gay middle age, has now (and thankfully) redressed the balance...Kooden's book belongs on the bookshelf of every gay man." -- Charles Silverstein, co-author of The New Joy of Gay Sex

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By D. S. Heersink on September 5, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an interesting, provocative, and timely book, and a pleasure to read. It encourages middle-aged gay men to reassess their lives, overcome "the youth fetish, body fascism, and ageism of the gay male world," and to live whole and fruitful lives. While many of the ideas and suggestions are platitudinous pop-psychology, like the ubiquitous solutions of "change of attitude," the author manages to pose many insightful questions that operate even outside his own paradigm of a rebel, anarchist, and activist. Those who fit this paradigm may find even more to gravitate to than I did. Similarly, I'm not sure how most readers will respond to the author's repeated claims of both internalized and externalized homophobic victimization; obviously, queer-bashing continues unabated by the religious right and the likes of Matthew Shepard's murderers, and maybe many of us still retain too many self-censors, some of which are healthy, others not so. If so, Kooden has many ideas to help overcome them. It's a contentious, but central, point, that middle-aged gay men are still fighting to overcome more and more "closets," especially in the fight against ageism.

I agree generally that there is something distinctive and unique about "gay" sensibilities, and we should foster the fulfillment of these distinctive sensibilities. I'd only add "within the bounds of public decency" and "as an individual, not some prototype, determines." He also has the reader do a lot of mental fantasizing and questioning of assumptions, through a kind of internal Socratic dialogue, which I think is a useful re-engineering and self-examination technique. As Socrates demonstrated, life improves with question-asking, not by question-begging. Those who have read my praise for Elliot Cohen's "What Would Aristotle Do?
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By "jja40" on December 12, 2000
Format: Paperback
I was astonished at how helpful and powerful this book is. Having completed Rik Isensee's "Are You Ready?" which deals with the same subject, I had laid the groundwork for a more advanced examination of the gay man's reaction and strategies for handling middle age. This book is the perfect "next step." While "Are You Ready?" is a great book that can help start the process of positive thinking regarding middle age, "Golden Men" delves into the subject deeper and enlightens the reader into truly eye-opening new ways of understanding what is actually happening as a gay man enters his 40's and 50's and how to cope with the associated pressures and fears in a remarkably positive way. Divided into sections that examine body, mind and spirit, each chapter looks honestly at the effects of both gay and non-gay culture on the average man's thinking and perception, forces that are both natural and societal in origin, and many other factors that add to the complexity of the middle age transition. With that frank, as-it-really-is honesty, which is also presented with compassion and sensitivity, Koonden & Flowers offer alternative ways of thinking and positive exercises that are designed to bring the reader further away from the fear and depression many men in this age group may face. Some observations are downright profound and I would be surprised if anyone in serious need of a "guide" to handling midlife in a rational manner did not come away from reading this book feeling they had more control over their future. No book can completely dispell anyone's fears or concerns about aging, or change our own internal ageism, but this book is unquestionably a powerful tool in reshaping your outlook.Read more ›
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Ernest on April 15, 2000
Format: Paperback
Well written, easy to read, great insite. Certainly, the author has the credentials to share his aging experience with a phsycological insight and real experience to back it up. Lots of good questions and lots of good answers. Spare yourself from having to "learn the lessons" by learning from another gay man's experience. Older is better if you know how to do it. Learn how. I enjoyed the experience of reading this book. EJC
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Tom on July 20, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Run, dont walk to get this book. Kooden does a remarkable job sharing his life and professional experience helping gay men recreate a sense of themselves as they age. The focus here is on personal power to overcome negative and limited stereotypes of aging gay men. We need to "name" these. We need to speak out on them. Sensitively written, compassionate, and at the same time challenges the reader to overcome homophobic influences and ageism. I recommend it to all of my gay clients over 35. It is a wonderful book. You WILL change your perceptions! This is how we start!
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