The Big Shift: Navigating the New Stage Beyond Midlife


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by Marc Freedman. PublicAffairs, 2011.

Baby Boomers, this book is for you. Sometimes named “Generation B,” and known mostly for the size of its cohort, Freedman dreams the name “Generation E” (for social entrepreneurs or encore), will come to fit “a new identity based on what [this generation] accomplished and passed on”. Freedman, who is himself a Baby Boomer and social entrepreneur, asserts that naming is important, a window and key to understanding, and words seem to fail when naming the new and extended stage of life between middle-age and retirement. Some nomenclature introduced in the book: the third act, the third age, neither-nors (neither young nor old), encore adults, and, simply, grownups. Appropriate for all faith identities, congregation-based book clubs and adult forums will appreciate the discussion guide. Seasoned congregation members, especially Boomers, will appreciate the real-world context-ageism, layoffs, health and economic limitations are acknowledged-and encouragement to “live a legacy, not just leave one”.

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