Understanding Men's Passages: Discovering the New Map of Men's Lives

Understanding Men's Passages: Discovering the New Map of Men's Lives

by Gail Sheehy
     
 

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Her stunning bestsellers Passages and New Passages brilliantly mapped the changes we live through from youth to maturity. Now Gail Sheehy guides contemporary men through the turbulent challenges and surprising pleasures that begin at forty. As a man crosses that threshold, he is bound to ask midlife's most troubling question: Now what? Work anxieties, concerns

Overview

Her stunning bestsellers Passages and New Passages brilliantly mapped the changes we live through from youth to maturity. Now Gail Sheehy guides contemporary men through the turbulent challenges and surprising pleasures that begin at forty. As a man crosses that threshold, he is bound to ask midlife's most troubling question: Now what? Work anxieties, concerns over sexual potency, marital and family stress, issues of power, all take on new urgency as men contemplate the decades ahead. But as Gail Sheehy reveals in this major new book, midlife is precisely the period when men are most likely to reinvent themselves and become masters of their fate. In Understanding Men's Passages, Sheehy offers all men—and the women in their lives—an essential guide to self-discovery.

Hundreds of bold, imaginative men—celebrities as well as everyday heroes—share here their most intimate desires, deepest fears, and most fervent cravings for renewal. Decade by decade, Sheehy uncovers the real issues facing men today: finding new passion and purpose to invigorate the second half of their lives, dealing with "manopause," surviving job change, enjoying post-nesting zest, defeating depression, and learning what keeps a man young.

Informative and inspiring, grounded in fact and full of fascinating life stories, Understanding Men's Passages is a landmark that will take its place beside Gail Sheehy's epoch-making Passages and New Passages.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Sheehy's advice, bolstered with demographic research, group interviews, medical commentary and personal testimony, is tough and wise."
—The New York Times Book Review

"SHEEHY HAS DONE IT AGAIN: engaged in a good deal of research, interviewed many of the right people, and then produced a beautifully readable, very useful guide to important aspects of adult human development. . . . The cumulative mass of her information, observations, and anecdotes is immensely impressive."
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Her book will encourage and comfort many men, who—reluctant to confide in their friends or even in their wives—had imagined they were the only ones disheartened and confused by the thorny, arduous path from one stage of life to another."
—People

Elaine Showalter
I hope men will take the daring step of reading the book for themselves, because Sheehy's advice, bolstered with demographic research, group interviews, medical commentary and personal testimony, is tough and wise. -- New York Times Book Review
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The years after 40 offer men a "second adulthood," declares Sheehy, a chance to reinvent themselves. But first they must shift from competing to connecting, from incessant striving for external rewards to a quest for inner fulfillment through meaningful pursuits, after determining what they really want of the second half of their lives. In a constructive, enlightening guide to self-discovery for men and their partners, the author of "Passages" and "New Passages" uses 100 male interviewees, case histories and medical and psychological research to probe men's feelings about death, spiritual hollowness, empty nest syndrome, separation anxieties, their envy of their empowered working wives, pre-retirement jitters and waning sexual potency. There are enough fresh angles in this searching exploration of male malaise to help men tailor their goals and dreams to real-life circumstances.
Walter Anderson
Gail Sheehy has managed to penetrate the hidden vault of men's fears and secrets -- the real concerns that men do not share with each other. Men -- and women -- need to read this book to understand who we men really are and who we are becoming. The storytelling alone is worth the price of admission. -- Walter Anderson, Parade Magazine
Kirkus Reviews
Despite some facile passages, the bestselling journalist Sheehy ("Passages", 1976; "New Passages", 1995; etc.) has done it again: engaged in a good deal of research, interviewed many of the right people, and then produced a beautifully readable, very useful guide to important aspects of adult human development. Her focus is both descriptive, charting the changing nature of American men's lives from the "second adulthood" that often begins between ages 40 and 50, through the attempt to live a vigorous, still-evolving old age, and prescriptive, helping men to rethink their lives in order to make a "preemptive strike against sameness and sourness." Sheehy's overly and redundantly upbeat tone can indeed be grating at times, and she does venture her share of insipid, undocumented generalizations: "Women are happier in midlife than they have been in any previous generation" (tell that to the economically downwardly mobile divorced women studied by Judith Wallerstein). But the author more than compensates for such passages by picking just the right variety of professionals and laypeople with whom to speak, by asking probing questions, listening well, and (usually) writing even better. The cumulative mass of her information, observations, and anecdotes is immensely impressive, addressing a wide variety of issues related to middle-aged men's dilemmas—from being laid off abruptly to beginning a new career, from impotence to sexuality among the aged, from depression (and new findings about its close correlation with heart attacks) to struggling for emotional regeneration. Much of this will help thousands of men and women alike. Credit also should go to both author and publisher fordoing a first-rate job on a commonly overlooked aspect of popular books: providing crisp, imaginative headings and an appealing layout. This is a rare work of engaging and substantive pop-psych that is perfectly balanced between psychology and the þpopular.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780345406903
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
05/28/1999
Edition description:
FIRST BALLENTINE
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
475,476
Product dimensions:
5.52(w) x 8.24(h) x 0.71(d)

Meet the Author

Millions of readers defined their lives through Gail Sheehy's landmark work, Passages, and through its bestselling sequel, New Passages. Among her twelve books is the huge international bestseller that broke the taboo around menopause, The Silent Passage. Ms. Sheehy is also a political journalist and contributing editor to Vanity Fair. The mother of two daughters, she divides her time between New York City and Berkeley, California, where she lives with her husband, editor and lecturer Clay Felker.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
New York City and Berkeley, California
Date of Birth:
November 27, 1937
Education:
B.A., University of Vermont; M.A., Columbia School of Journalism

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