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The Seasons of a Man's Life Paperback – May 12, 1986


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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

The first full report from the team that discovered the patterns of adult development, this breakthrough study ranks in significance with the original works of Kinsey and Erikson, exploring and explaining the specific periods of personal development through which all human begins must pass--and which together form a common pattern underlying all human lives.
"A pioneering and radical theory of adult development."
CHICAGO TRIBUNE
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; Reissue edition (May 12, 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345339010
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345339010
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.1 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #100,520 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

78 of 79 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 21, 1999
Format: Paperback
Reading about the "seasons of a mans life" has been a complete and life-changing revelation. No one ever teaches us about adult development, mid-life crisis, coping with transition. They are often joked about but seldom discussed. Reaching mid-life proved to be no joke for me and being unprepared led to a personal crisis. This book played a major part in helping me understand the changes I was going through and provided clear insights that I believe I would not have found elsewhere. Clearly written; the book addresses every stage of adulthood with convincing theories about the emotional and psychological changes which we all have to cope with.
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Phillip Armour on October 19, 2000
Format: Paperback
You can't ask much more from a book than that it changes your life.
Or more correctly, it helps you change your life. I first read this book during my last transition ten years ago, and I'm reading it again for this one. It made all the difference last time, and I'm dipping into the same well a decade later.
Levinson reasoned that while Piaget and Freud had well documented the stages of development of infants and children and adolescents, it mostly stopped at 20. It's as if that's it--you're all grown up now!
He thought perhaps there were changes, phases and stages of adult life akin to those of children. When he researched this with a large number of American males he was surprised to find just how consistent they are.
You can almost set your watch--oops! 25 years old! Time to find a mentor! Ooops 55 years old! Time to be a mentor!
The major transitions he identified at the decade turnovers. They seem to be times of significant discomfort, questioning, reassessment, and redirection in a man's life. They are followed by a period of consolidation and stability--until the next transition ten years later. While the transitions are different for each person and the results are different for each person, each of us in our way goes through them. The "mid-life crisis" he calls the "mid-life transition", since it's only a crisis if you don't get through it well.
This is not a particularly easy read (Gail Sheehey's "Passages" is easier), but if you, or someone you know is trying to figure out "what next?" try this book.
Hey, it worked for me.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 5, 2001
Format: Paperback
Great book, great read for everyone. Author discusses the primary phases of adulthood in great detail, and very thought provoking way. Book discusses the life cycle as several distinct phases that we all go through one way or another. Having going through a transition myself, reading "Seasons" is an eye opener. If anything the more you know about your own transition, the better you can deal with it. Also, the phases help in understanding others too. Season's work will no doubt last for many generations to come.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Randy Given on April 13, 2003
Format: Paperback
When I was looking for books along this line, I saw the review titled "This book provides insights that could save your life" and thought that this book might be the one to read. It was. This book can be a life-saver, literally. It certainly made a huge impact for me.
The book may be a bit too much for a person to read unless they like psychology. No, it is not hard reading, it just may be too much material unless you were looking for specific advice. Although you may be tempted to jump to your immediately applicable section, I would suggest reading chapter 2 (on men's different eras) before doing that.
The author has a friendly, mature, informed approach. It is analytical, yet comforting. Certainly a book to recommend for men in your life that are going through changes.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Temple Porter on June 2, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Robert Bly says "Men are deep." Levinson demonstrates the truth of that. He further makes the concepts of male development accessible and understandable. His premise is not that men are broken, and therefore need fixing, but rather that male behavior can be understood developmentally, as they pass through their predictable phases of growth. I especially recommend this book to every woman who has a man she feels must change.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By doggy1 on November 8, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A very good book, however my copy is quite old, and ofcourse so I am...(58). I wish it was more thorough and covered a greater breadth of ages, but I'm not yet finished reading the entire book; maybe, it will surprise me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Linda M. Landsverk on March 30, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
very well written but you shouldn't wait till your are 60 to read it. lots of helpful info for stages of life
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jim on January 9, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Good overview but a bit outdated. My major disapointment was that there is very little discussion past early middle age.
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