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The Big Shift: Navigating the New Stage Beyond Midlife Paperback – April 10, 2012
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The New York Times, April 30, 2011
Calls The Big Shift an imaginative work with the potential to affect our individual lives and our collective future.”
The Wall Street Journal, May 9, 2011
Says its an invaluable and inspiring read.”
USA Today, April 25, 2011
Hails Freedman as a natural storyteller, a deep researcher and a forward thinker.”
New York Journal of Books, June 2011
thorough, thoughtful, and exceptionally well written .Page One is a most encompassing volume on the issue of the future of journalism and newspapers Highly recommended."
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Top Customer Reviews
My wife was excited when I told her about the reviews and promptly started to read _The Big Shift_ when it arrived. As she got a few chapters in, I noticed that she was sort of grimacing as she read. I asked about it and she said, "This just isn't useful at all. It's as if the author simply interviewed a bunch of people, read a bunch of articles, categorized it all into chapters, and then printed it out as a book. " After a while, she put it down and said, "Thanks, sweetie, but this is just not worth my time."
That was a couple of weeks ago. I just picked the book up and read it through, and I have to agree with her assessment. Perhaps _The Big Shift_ would be useful for some people, but I just don't see any of Freedman's ideas as particularly visionary: Wow, many people start fulfilling second careers in midlife. Having heard the "terza edad" concept in Latin America and Europe since I was a teen in the early '80s, I'm not that blown-away to see that someone's finally translated it into English. Other than rehashing that, there is nothing here but smug, uninspiring and banal anecdotes (neverending, all along the lines of "I was an overworked executive who gave it all up, hit bottom, and found joy teaching benighted minority youth").Read more ›
A good question! Marc's book provides valuable insight on how this happens. The short answer is - it isn't easy to do and it does take a long time. Marc notes that it is a "long distance quest - big projects requiring vision, language, leadership, institutions and often social movements with multiple thinkers..."
We are fortunate that visionaries such as Marc are taking the lead to define this post midlife stage. There are a lot of us at this stage who are eager to be part of this change. In the Boston area, Discovering What's Next ([...]) is one community group that has taken Marc's messages to heart. A great way for everyone to begin is to read this book and start having community conversations about it.
In The Big Shift author Marc Freedman answers questions that concern all of us who want to age well. How do we become "elders" -- that is, wisdom bearers -- rather than regress into a second childhood? How do we avoid being an economic drain on society, without competing with the young for jobs? How do we stay involved in our communities and leave a positive imprint on the world, even as we face being marginalized because of age-ism?
In answering these questions, Freedman argues that accepted ideas about aging no longer hold true. People are living longer, having families later in life, and facing more financial uncertainty. The era of necessarily retiring in one's sixties to a life of golf and bridge is over. And according Freedman, that's a good thing, because many people come into their highest creative energy and deepest intelligence during their 50s, 60s, and 70s. Freedman calls these years the Encore Stage - the phase that opens up between the middle years and late life, and he believes society has much to gain by harnessing the talent, wisdom, and experience of people who have lived long and learned.
Based on interviews with older people who have re-made their lives to better fit their interests and values, Freedman offers us examples of people who are "engaged in work that moves them beyond narrow personal concerns to concern for others." These are people committed to "giving back" and "giving forward" to their communities. His re-telling of their stories inspires and teaches, and as I read them I realized that many of my assumptions about aging were false.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent! So grateful 2 M.Freedman for all the thoughtful materials, research & comprehensive coverage. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Heather Paterson
As someone who just passed the 60 milestone, I was intrigued by the subtitle. I checked the audio version out of the public library and listened and listened and listened for... Read morePublished 20 months ago by Amazon Customer
The book is good. I enjoyed encore more. It's worth the price. I don't agree with some of the author's suggestions like people being able to draw their Social Security funds... Read morePublished 24 months ago by Jeff
Simply and clearly written - brings out main points in facing this major challenge. I recommend it without reservation. Buy it.Published on January 28, 2014 by Marc A. Silverman
To put this into perspective, I've done a lot of research on this particular subject so my opinions are based on that. Read morePublished on July 14, 2013 by Amazon Customer
Wow! Marc Freedman opened up a whole new perspective for my husband and I . We're in!!! Let's retire the word retirement!!Published on March 23, 2013 by sherri bankord
Well written and thoughtful book on the next career. For those of us who are working on the next career after 45, this book gives the reader the freedom to dream and encourages the... Read morePublished on March 5, 2013 by D. T. Warterian