Learning to Grow Old

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Paul Tournier has practised medicine in Geneva since 1928, as a physician who acquired psychiatric training and experience because he learned that many of his patients needed help going deeper than drugs or surgery. Many of his books are in paperback editions, including A Doctor's Casebook in the Light of the Bible, The Meaning of Persons, Escape from Loneliness, The Strong and the Weak, The Person Reborn and A Place for You. Previous books by Dr Tournier have, he remarks, grown spontaneously out of his work and experience. Now, for the first time, he writes at the request of his English and American publishers on a topic not of his own choosing: old age and retirement. 'It sounds rather like homework', he commented, because although he is now seventy-three he is still young in spirit and has by no means retired from active life. But he accepted the invitation, because of his firm belief that the problems of old age and retirement concern not only the elderly, but also the whole of society. How we grow old depends upon the way we live throughout our life and the kind of social conditions that we create. Here, then, is a book of personal counsel for those for whom retirement is, or soon will be, a reality. Yet at the same time it is a book for everyone concerned that ours should be a humane society, to learn from while there is still time.