Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
Tip: To see translations of this article…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

When there are translations of the current article, you will see a flag/pennant icon next to the title, like this: 2015-11-06_11h14_24 For example:


Click on it and you will see a bibliographic list of papers that are published translations of the current article. Note that when no published translations are available, you can also translate an article on the fly using Google translate.


For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Cath, S.H. (1998). The Course of Life: Volume VI. Late Adulthood. Edited by George H. Pollock and Stanley I. Greenspan. Madison, CT: International Universities Press, 1993, 560 pp., 50.00.. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 46(1):298-301.

(1998). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 46(1):298-301

The Course of Life: Volume VI. Late Adulthood. Edited by George H. Pollock and Stanley I. Greenspan. Madison, CT: International Universities Press, 1993, 560 pp., 50.00.

Review by:
Stanley H. Cath

Even when the last in a series of six, a volume should be able to stand on its own merits. Although I was enriched by some of the thoughtful contributions in this volume of The Course of Life, an uncharacteristic dis-ease enfolded me as I read along. The title had promised a focus on late adulthood as part of the course of life, and indeed I found the first few chapters—on late midlife development by Vaillant and Koury, the transformational tasks of that period by Roger Gould, and a reexamination of the crisis of spousal loss by Morton Lieberman—to be on track. The majority of the thirteen contributions that follow, however, are neither on center nor in any connection to one another. The lack of a common thread is by no means uncommon in collated books with multiple authors, but the editors usually make an effort to tie things together in order to create some line of epigenetic continuity.

More at the heart of my discomfort was the realization that most of the papers are woefully out of date, especially considering the speed of today's changing world. This second flaw led me to a quick survey of the dates of reference citations. My impression of anachronism was more than confirmed. All had been written decades ago, which explains why it seemed that the biological research revolution of the 1980s and the first half of the 1990s had not occurred.

Remarkably, I could find but two references (on p. 225) to the previous five volumes in this series. This failing is found even in an otherwise excellent contribution, “Aging or Aged,” by senior editor George Pollock. Other papers here, while full of references documenting the classical psychoanalytic constructs of epigenetic (read child) development, almost completely neglect the vast body of literature generated by an admittedly small group of clinicians deeply committed to working with patients in the middle to later years.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

Copyright © 2020, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.