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Composing a Further Life: The Age of Active Wisdom

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Composing a Further Life: The Age of Active Wisdom Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

From the author of Composing a Life (first published in 1991 and still in print), an inspiring exploration of a new stage of the life cycle, “Adulthood II,” created by unprecedented levels of health, energy, time, and resources—of which we have barely begun to be fully conscious.

Mary Catherine Bateson sees aging today as an “improvisational art form calling for imagination and willingness to learn,” and in this ardent, affirming study, she relates the experiences of men and women—herself included—who, upon entering this second adulthood, have found new meaning and new ways to contribute, composing their lives in new patterns.

Among the people Bateson engages in open-ended, in-depth conversations are a retired Maine boatyard worker who has become a silversmith and maker of fine jewelry; an African American woman who explores the importance of grandmothering; two gay men finding contentment in mutual caring; the retired dean of a cathedral in New York City who exemplifies how a multiplicity of interests and connections lead to deeper unity; and Jane Fonda, who shares her ways of dealing with change and spiritual growth.

Here is a book that presents each of us—at any age—with an exhilarating challenge to think about and approach our later lives with the full force of imagination, curiosity, and enthusiasm. At the same time, it speaks to us as members of a larger society concerned about the world that our children and grandchildren, born and not yet born, will inherit. “We live longer,” she says, “but we think shorter.” As adults find themselves entering Adulthood II, making the choices that will affirm and complete the meaning of the lives they have lived, they can play a key role, contributing their perspectives and their experience of adapting to change. In our day, wisdom is no longer associated with withdrawal and passivity but with engagement with others and the contribution that Bateson calls “active wisdom.”

Review:

"Picking up where she left off in Composing a Life (1991), anthropologist Bateson interviews six older individuals, from a retired Maine boatyard worker to Jane Fonda, who have accomplished most of their life goals but actively seek new and satisfying ways to live robust lives. Adulthood II, as Bateson call this period, is characterized by the wisdom culled from long lives and rich experience combined with freedom from the day-to-day responsibilities of work and raising children. Life in this stage is an 'improvisational art form calling for imagination and the willingness to learn.' Bateson follows Hank Lawson, a former boatyard metalworker, and his wife, Jane, from Maine to their retirement in Tucson, Ariz. There Hank turned his knowledge of tools and metal to making jewelry from precious metals and semiprecious stones. Liberated by the move from the ocean to the mountains, the Lawsons are flourishing, continually learning new things and refashioning their lives in a new place. Because Bateson lets various people retell their own stories of grappling with the challenges and the freedom of Adulthood II, her book is a deep meditation on the value of longevity and an inspiring testimony to the power and possibilities that come with growing older. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright PWyxz LLC)

Synopsis:

Bateson sees aging today as an "improvisational art form calling for imagination and willingness to learn," and in this ardent, affirming study, she relates the experiences of men and women--herself included--who, upon entering this second adulthood, have found new meaning and new ways to contribute, composing their lives in new patterns.

Synopsis:

From the author of the best-selling Composing a Life (published in 1991 and still in print), an exuberant exploration of a new stage of the life cycle—“Adulthood II”—created by unprecedented levels of health, energy, time, and resources.

Mary Catherine Bateson sees aging today as an “improvisational art form calling for imagination and willingness to learn,” and in this ardent, affirming study she relates the experiences of men and women—herself included—who, entering this second adulthood, have found new meaning and new ways to contribute, composing their lives in new patterns.

Among the people Bateson engages in open-ended, in-depth conversation are a retired Maine boatyard worker who has become a silversmith and maker of fine jewelry; an African American woman who discusses the importance of grandmothering; two gay men finding contentment in mutual caring; the retired dean of a cathedral in New York City who exemplifies how a multiplicity of interests and connections lead to deeper unity; and Jane Fonda, who shares her ways of dealing with change and spiritual growth.

Here is a book that presents us—at any age—with an exhilarating challenge to think about and approach our later lives with the full force of imagination, curiosity, and enthusiasm.

About the Author

Mary Catherine Bateson was Clarence J. Robinson Professor in Anthropology and English at George Mason University from 1987 to 2002, when she became Professor Emerita. She is a Visiting Scholar at the Center on Aging and Work/Workplace Flexibility at Boston College and, until recently, was president of the Institute of Intercultural Studies in New York City. She is the author of Composing a Life; With a Daughters Eye: A Memoir of Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson; Peripheral Visions: Learning Along the Way; Full Circles, Overlapping Lives: Culture and Generation in Transition; and Willing to Learn: Passages of Personal Discovery. She resides in Hancock, New Hampshire.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780307266439
Subtitle:
The Age of Active Wisdom
Author:
Bateson, Mary Catherine
Publisher:
Knopf
Subject:
Anthropology - Cultural
Subject:
Sociology - General
Subject:
Women's Studies - General
Subject:
Aging
Subject:
Motivational & Inspirational
Subject:
Health and Medicine-Aging
Publication Date:
20100914
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
272
Dimensions:
8.48x6.02x1.08 in. .95 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » Aging
Health and Self-Help » Self-Help » General
History and Social Science » Anthropology » General
History and Social Science » Sociology » Aging

Composing a Further Life: The Age of Active Wisdom Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$4.95 In Stock
Product details 272 pages Knopf Publishing Group - English 9780307266439 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Picking up where she left off in Composing a Life (1991), anthropologist Bateson interviews six older individuals, from a retired Maine boatyard worker to Jane Fonda, who have accomplished most of their life goals but actively seek new and satisfying ways to live robust lives. Adulthood II, as Bateson call this period, is characterized by the wisdom culled from long lives and rich experience combined with freedom from the day-to-day responsibilities of work and raising children. Life in this stage is an 'improvisational art form calling for imagination and the willingness to learn.' Bateson follows Hank Lawson, a former boatyard metalworker, and his wife, Jane, from Maine to their retirement in Tucson, Ariz. There Hank turned his knowledge of tools and metal to making jewelry from precious metals and semiprecious stones. Liberated by the move from the ocean to the mountains, the Lawsons are flourishing, continually learning new things and refashioning their lives in a new place. Because Bateson lets various people retell their own stories of grappling with the challenges and the freedom of Adulthood II, her book is a deep meditation on the value of longevity and an inspiring testimony to the power and possibilities that come with growing older. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
"Synopsis" by , Bateson sees aging today as an "improvisational art form calling for imagination and willingness to learn," and in this ardent, affirming study, she relates the experiences of men and women--herself included--who, upon entering this second adulthood, have found new meaning and new ways to contribute, composing their lives in new patterns.
"Synopsis" by , From the author of the best-selling Composing a Life (published in 1991 and still in print), an exuberant exploration of a new stage of the life cycle—“Adulthood II”—created by unprecedented levels of health, energy, time, and resources.

Mary Catherine Bateson sees aging today as an “improvisational art form calling for imagination and willingness to learn,” and in this ardent, affirming study she relates the experiences of men and women—herself included—who, entering this second adulthood, have found new meaning and new ways to contribute, composing their lives in new patterns.

Among the people Bateson engages in open-ended, in-depth conversation are a retired Maine boatyard worker who has become a silversmith and maker of fine jewelry; an African American woman who discusses the importance of grandmothering; two gay men finding contentment in mutual caring; the retired dean of a cathedral in New York City who exemplifies how a multiplicity of interests and connections lead to deeper unity; and Jane Fonda, who shares her ways of dealing with change and spiritual growth.

Here is a book that presents us—at any age—with an exhilarating challenge to think about and approach our later lives with the full force of imagination, curiosity, and enthusiasm.

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