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The Third Age: Six Principles for Personal Growth and Rejuvenation after Forty Paperback – February, 2001


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press; Reprint edition (February 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 073820434X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0738204345
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,071,919 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Unlike scholars who view human development in terms of stages or life cycles, sociology professor Sadler prefers the current European view of life past 50 as the third age (the fourth is old age), and offers encouraging evidence of the potential for continued growth and lifelong learning. From his 12-year study of several dozen men and women aged 45 to 80, he draws unconventional principles for creating midlife renewal, which he supplements with suggestions on how readers can develop and nurture them in their own lives. Among the apparently paradoxical strategies that consistently emerge from his inspiring and honest portraits of his vibrant subjects are balancing mindful reflection with risk taking; balancing personal freedom with deeper relationships; creating a positive identity and maintaining optimistic realism; creating meaningful work and play; caring for the self and for others. Sadler's theoretical framework makes his advice more thought provoking than prescriptive, so this gracefully written volume is more challenging than many self-help guides. Still, contemplative readers will find it accessible and absorbing. (Feb.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"The Third Age is a valuable reminder that midlife can be at least as rewarding as youth." -- Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, author of Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience

"Through enlightening interviews and commentary, Sadler shows us a path to mindful aging." -- Ellen Langer, author of Mindfulness and The Power of Mindful Learning

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By john conger on April 8, 2000
Format: Hardcover
In a culture devoted to youth, THE THIRD AGE is a groundbreaking work. At the present time in America, everything old is discarded not repaired. Aging is a subject for jokes, not inspiration and excitement. I am 65 and have suffered the mundane indignities of losing hair, stronger glasses, arthritis and glitches in memory, but having children late in life has encouraged me to crawl on the floor, play horsy and throw a baseball. Naturally I was delighted to read Dr. Sadler's helpful and well researched book, which provides an invaluable conversation about aging, supported by interviews with people who have explored this later period creatively. I don't feel alone in my efforts. There is no other book like it, a book that must be the forefront of a growing movement of concern about how we spend the potentially most productive and creative years of our extended lives.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 31, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book should be reread several times for it's treasure of insights and profound statements.
Sadler interviews several candidates displaying second growth, and along the way, he not only introduces us to new possibilities of renewal and personal growth after 40, but also comments on the complexities and subleties of life as experienced by those ahead of our age.
His table of contents reads like a list of reflections on life; balancing mindful reflection and risk taking; creating a positive third age indentity; redfining work and play, etc.
We often see ourselves in his interviews, and we see how others have overcome difficult situations to restructure their life and re-emerge and remain resilient.
I particularly like his interviews with people in their 60s, 70,s 80s, giving us a glimpse of what to expect at that age.
A must read!
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 14, 2004
Format: Paperback
I found this book to be stimulating and encouraging - rather than focus, as so many books do, on traditional concepts of 'aging' and 'retirement' as end points of life, this book illuminates the extraordinary opportunities for growth that can be available to those who permit themselves to take advantage of them. I've read it several times; with each reading, I see more parallels with my life. I would recommend it to anyone reluctant to surrender to stagnation and interested in learning about some remarkable, and clearly real, people.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 14, 2004
Format: Paperback
This is a terrific book for anyone, such as myself, in or approaching our"third age". Dr.Sadler looks at real people and their experiences in creating productive and joyous lives despite the challenges they faced. While not everything that comes our way is easy, we have a wonderful opportunity to experience re-growth and design a new life for ourselves. A previous reviewer was somewhat disparaging of this book and its ideas and observations, but many of his or her comments do not accurately represent the information provided in the book and stand in marked contrast to other reviews provided. I urge an interested reader to read this book and reach your own conclusions. It will be worth your time.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Ronn E Williamson on June 15, 2004
Format: Paperback
Dr. Sadler has articulated a comprehensive approach for anyone over 40 to contemplate more personal fulfillment in life. This is particularly timely research and analysis as the U.S. is transformed by the wave of baby boomers just beginning to reach traditional retirement age. Boomers will, on average, live longer, more healthy lives than any previous generation. We cannot simply accept that life is "downhill after 50" when there is now a "30-year life bonus" opportunity in front of us.
Dr. Sadler's six principles provide a sound basis for understanding and exploring the concept of personal fulfillment and his wonderful individual stories of people he followed for many years help us see these principles in action.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Leslie L. Kossoff on November 29, 2000
Format: Hardcover
For those of us in the Baby Boom Generation, between being told that those over 30 are not to be trusted and those over 40 might as well cash it all in, living a full and fulfilling life during those over-40 years seemed unlikely. While society has shown us that those notions hold no water, Sadler's book takes us far beyond into a life and world that makes the first half seem like the necessary foundation for the real fulfillment which will come in our Third Age. This well researched, engagingingly written book allows us to see why and how our latter years are truly our best years - with lives that bring us the fulfillment and enyoyment for which we are meant.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dorian Mintzer on October 27, 2007
Format: Paperback
I feel this book is a gem and a "must read" for all people in the
"Boomers and Beyond" age range and all professionals interested in this
"Third Age" of life. I'm in both categories.
Dr. Sadler provides a stimulating and hopeful look at ways to approach the years ahead. He challenges many of the old concepts of aging.
I love his image that when we walk to the top of a mountain, instead of
thinking about life being "all downhill" and focusing on putting on our "safety belts" and trying to make a safe landing, we instead see a vast plateau ahead of us--with peaks and valleys in the distance. This plateau represents the "Third Age" or bonus years that hopefully we will have, allowing us to live well into our 80's and 90's plus.
This book is based on his research over 12+ years. He not only offers some of the paradoxes of the struggle, and how this second stage of growth differs from the first stage of growth, but also provides 6 principles which highlight aspects of creative and successful aging. As he discusses the principles he offers specific guidelines to help the reader understand various aspects to consider. The principles come alive with his examples of real people from his study. It becomes clear that we have opportunities for choice and growth which can enable us to make
these years fulfilling rather than years of decline.
I have used this book in a Special Interest Group I developed which brings together coaches from around the country interested in positive, creative and successful aging. We have discussed this book over a number of sessions and all agree that it is a rich and wonderful book which helps as one is trying to figure out how to navigate the journey and find fulfillment in these bonus years.
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