Golden Men:: The Power of Gay Midlife

Harold Kooden, Author, Charles Flowers, With
Harold Kooden, Author, Charles Flowers, With Quill $14.99 (368p) ISBN 978-0-380-80443-6
Reviewed on: 01/31/2000
Release date: 02/01/2000
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Not too long ago, gay men reaching middle age were expected to ""retire"" from social life, much like divorc es. But today's first ""out"" generation, having lost many to AIDS and made considerable political progress, has forged new paths; for these men, this book will provide insights and affirmations that might make their passages easier. Lucidly charting the progress of the gay male ""Golden Boy"" on his journey to becoming a ""Golden Man,"" Kooden, a clinical psychologist, with writer Flowers divides the subject into three areas--Body, Mind and Soul--each of which is illustrated with anecdotes from Kooden's own life and those of men he has known, followed by penetrating questions that aim to help readers examine their own lives. Many of the book's telling and often eloquent observations spring from Kooden's years of counseling gays wrestling with the end of youth (and its subcultural amusements) without ""traditional"" comforts and obligations (such as offspring and sanctioned marriages). However, these sharp, sensible insights are built primarily on personal observation of a handful of men rather than large-scale, rigorous studies, and thus point up the lack of clinical research in this budding field of inquiry. Though Kooden and Flowers make an admirable attempt to dissect a big, important subject, their effort also reveals the need for more rigorous inquiry into the cultural peculiarities, and political and social obstacles, that diverse legions of gay men confront in a still intolerant world. Agent, Jed Mattes. (June)
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