Synopses & Reviews
In the twenty-first century, a developmental phase of life is emerging as significant and distinct, capturing our interest, engaging our curiosity, and expanding our understanding of human potential and development. Demographers talk about this new chapter in life as characterized by people—those between ages fifty and seventy-five—who are considered "neither young nor old." In our "third chapters" we are beginning to redefine our views about the casualties and opportunities of aging; we are challenging cultural definitions of strength, maturity, power, and sexiness.
This is a chapter in life when the traditional norms, rules, and rituals of our careers seem less encompassing and restrictive; when many women and men seem to be embracing new challenges and searching for greater meaning in life.
In The Third Chapter, Dr. Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot offers a strong counterpoint to the murky ambivalence that shrouds our clear view of people in their third chapters. She challenges the still-prevailing and anachronistic images of aging by documenting and revealing the ways in which the years between fifty and seventy-five may, in fact, be the most transformative and generative time in our lives—tracing the ways in which wisdom, experience, and new learning inspire individual growth and cultural transformation. The women and men whose voices fill the pages of The Third Chapter tell passionate and poignant stories of risk and vulnerability, failure and resilience, challenge and mastery, experimentation and improvisation, and insight and new learning.
Renowned sociologist Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot challenges the still-prevailing and anachronistic images of aging by documenting and revealing the ways in which the years between ages fifty and seventy-five—the third chapter—may, in fact, be the most transformative and generative time in a person's life.
About the Author
SARA LAWRENCE-LIGHTFOOT, a promminent sociologist and professor, of education at Harvard University, is the author of numerous books including The Good High School, Balm in Gilead, and I've Known Rivers. Winner of the prestigious MacArthur Prize, Lawrence-Lightfoot was recently awarded Harvard's George Ledlie Prize given for research that makes the "most valuable contribution to science" and that "benefits mankind." She has been a Fellow at the Bunting Institute at Radcliffe College and at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University. JESSICA HOFFMANN DAVIS is the Director of Arts in Education Concentration and a lecturer on education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She was the principal investigator of several arts projects at Harvard Project Zero. Her numerous publications include The MUSE (Museums Uniting with Schools in Education) Book and The Co-Arts Assessment Handbook.Laural Merlington has performed and directed for 30 years in regional theaters throughout the country. She has recorded over 100 audiobooks, including many by Fern Michaels, and is the recipient of several AudioFile Magazine Earphone Awards. In addition to her extensive theater and voiceover work, Laural teaches college in her home state of Michigan.