Synopses & Reviews
After service in Vietnam, as a surgeon for the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment in 1968-69, at the height of the war, Dr. Gordon Livingston returned to the U.S. and began work as a psychiatrist. In that capacity, he has listened to people talk about their lives-what works, what doesnt, and the limitless ways (many of them self-inflicted) that people find to be unhappy. He is also a parent twice bereaved; in one thirteen-month period, he lost his eldest son to suicide, his youngest to leukemia. Out of a lifetime of experience, Gordon Livingston has extracted thirty bedrock truths: We are what we do. Any relationship is under the control of the person who cares the least. The perfect is the enemy of the good. Only bad things happen quickly. Forgiveness is a form of letting go, but they are not the same thing. The statute of limitations has expired on most of our childhood traumas. Livingston illuminates these and twenty-four others in a series of carefully hewn, perfectly calibrated essays, many of which focus on our closest relationships and the things that we do to impede or, less frequently, enhance them. Again and again, these essays underscore that we are what we do,” and that while there may be no escaping who we are, we have the capacity to face loss, misfortune, and regret and to move beyond them-that it is not too late. Full of things we may know but have not articulated to ourselves, Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart offers solace, guidance, and hope to everyone ready to become the person theyd most like to be.
Baltimore Sun 4/13/08
“The slim book by Columbia-based psychiatrist Gordon Livingston has been a source of inspiration for many.”
“The author creates an aura of wisdom about a great many things.”
Quincy Jones, Details Online
“I'm just a musician and a record producer. I'm not a psychiatrist. I don't understand all that stuff. We all got problems. But there's a great book out called Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart. Did you see that? That book says the statute of limitations has expired on all childhood traumas. Get your stuff together and get on with your life, man.”
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 1/20/2010
Palm Beach Post, 11/28/10
“A book I not only like but respect.”
Palm Beach Post, 12/9/10
“[An] excellent self-help book.”
Psychiatrist Livingston has spent the past three decades "listening to other people's most intimate secrets and troubles." Having endured his own fair share of loss and sorrow, Livingston has come to recognize 30 truths that everyone needs to learn before it's too late.
From a psychiatrist who has spent the past thirty-five years listening to other peoples most intimate problems and struggles, here is a generous and gentle alternative to the trial-and-error learning that makes wisdom such an expensive commodity.
About the Author
Gordon Livingston, M.D., a graduate of West Point and the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, has been a physician since 1967. He is a psychiatrist and writer who contributes frequently to the Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, Baltimore Sun, and Readers Digest. Awarded the Bronze Star for valor in Vietnam, he is the author of two other books, And Never Stop Dancing and Only Spring: On Mourning the Death of My Son. He lives and works in Columbia, Maryland.