From Publishers Weekly
New opportunities for creativity and self-fulfillment await men and women between the ages of 50 and 75. Sociologist Lawrence-Lightfoot (Balm in Gilead) coins the term Third Chapter to describe the rich possibilities as illustrated in her extended interviews with 40 well-educated, affluent Americans. Founding her thesis on classic formulations of life-stage development, particularly that of Erik Erikson, the author offers a wide range of models for people who feel burned out, restless or dissatisfied with their lives, describing how each of her subjects became a different person. A newspaper executive retires and devotes himself to fiction writing and playing jazz piano; a law firm partner leaves work behind and develops small urban gardens; in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attack, an artist organizes interfaith quilting groups; a neurobiologist moves from the laboratory to the public arena, to work with HIV/AIDS patients in East Africa. Readers feeling that something is missing from their lives, that there is something more they can contribute, will find this book a helpful guide. (Jan.)
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The Third Chapter is a compassionate rendering of the challenges of entering uncharted post-career years, followed by an eloquent vision of the joys that lie ahead for those who put giving at the center of living. (Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Harvard Business School Professor and bestselling author of Confidence and America the Principled)
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Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot follows her subjects on an extraordinary journey. Read this book and be inspired by the diverse ways these women and men redefine their lives, adding purpose, passion, and reflection as they grow older. (Marian Wright Edelman, President, Children's Defense Fund)
In this singular book, Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot introduces a new stage of life, delineates its intriguing and unexpected contours, and draws lessons that are meaningful for every human being. (Howard Gardner, author of Good Work: When Excellence and Ethics Meet)
Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot, one of our most graceful and gifted chroniclers of the changing psychological landscape, has produced a biography of the new lifestage emerging between the end of the middle years and the arrival of old age. This remarkable tale is conveyed through the nuanced stories of individuals navigating their way through their fifties, sixties, and seventies, and is punctuated by Lightfoot's arresting observations. The result is not only the best book yet about the changing lifecourse, but an inspiring roadmap for individual and social renewal in the emerging third chapter. As ten thousand baby boomers turn sixty each day, the timing of this book is as exquisite as its insights. (Marc Freedman, author of Encore: Finding Work That Matters in the Second Half of Life and founder/CEO of Civic Ventures)
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.