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.
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
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 dilemmasfrom 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.
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, whoreluctant to confide in their friends or even in their wiveshad imagined they were the only ones disheartened and confused by the thorny, arduous path from one stage of life to another."