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Handing One Another Along

Literature and Social Reflection

By , (Editor), Vicki Kennedy (Editor)

Hardcover published by Random House (Random House Publishing Group)

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About This Book
In this book on shaping a meaningful and ethical life, the renowned, Pulitzer Prize–winning author explores how character, courage, and human and moral understanding can be fostered by reflecting on the lives of others, through stories. Based on Robert Coles’ legendary course at Harvard, this provocative book addresses such questions as, “Who are we? Where do we come from? Where are we going?” It calls on us to become stronger and more aware, by reflecting on ourselves and others with the help of great literature and art.

Dr. Coles shows how the work of writers, artists, and thinkers of the past two centuries can inspire our own reflections on the daily lives we lead. He offers a compelling call to venture outside of our own selves and lives and to listen, attentively and with growing humanity, to the way others get through life. Coles encourages us to examine our own character, kindness, and complexity by looking carefully at our perceptions of others, and by studying the wisdom of authors from Charles Dickens to Flannery O’Connor, from James Agee to George Orwell, and many others. In this influential conversation about empathy and engagement, Coles inspires us to seek out deeper meaning in our lives, and guides us toward achieving greater clarity, strength, and richness of understanding, amid the moral, psychological, and social complexities of the modern world.


From the Hardcover edition.
Show less
In this book on shaping a meaningful and ethical life, the renowned, Pulitzer Prize–winning author explores how character, courage, and human and moral understanding can be fostered by reflecting on the lives of others, through stories. Based on Robert Coles’ legendary course at Harvard, this provocative book addresses such questions as, “Who are we? Where do we come from? Where are we going?” It calls on us to become stronger and more aware, by reflecting on ourselves and others with the help of great literature and art.

Dr. Coles shows how the work of writers, artists, and thinkers of the past two centuries can inspire our own reflections on the daily lives we lead. He offers a compelling call to venture outside of our own selves and lives and to listen, attentively and with growing humanity, to the way others get through life. Coles encourages us to examine our own character, kindness, and complexity by looking carefully at our perceptions of others, and by studying the wisdom of authors from Charles Dickens to Flannery O’Connor, from James Agee to George Orwell, and many others. In this influential conversation about empathy and engagement, Coles inspires us to seek out deeper meaning in our lives, and guides us toward achieving greater clarity, strength, and richness of understanding, amid the moral, psychological, and social complexities of the modern world.


From the Hardcover edition.
Product Details
Hardcover (304 pages)
Published: August 31, 2010
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Imprint: Random House
ISBN: 9781400062034
Other books byRobert Coles
  • A Mind That Found Itself

    A Mind That Found Itself
    At once a classic account of the ravages of mental illness and a major American autobiography,A Mind That Found Itselftells the story of a young man who is gradually enveloped by a psychosis.  His well-meaning family commits him to a series of mental hospitals, but he is brutalized by the treatment, and his moments of fleeting sanity become fewer and fewer. His ultimate recovery is a triumph of the human spirit.   The publication ofA Mind That Found Itselfdid for the American mental health movement what Thomas Paineís Common Sense did for the American Revolution.  Moreover, it grips the imagination of readers not because it is a document of social reform but because it is a superb narrative. As the distinguished psychiatrist and writer Robert Coles has noted, the book ìprovides the virtues of clinical analysis, as well as personal reminiscence, all rendered with a novelistís eye for the particular, for emotional nuance, for chronological progression. . . . Steadily, forthrightly, we come in touch with the nature of delusions and hallucinations: the complex, symbolically charged, nightmarish world of fear, suspicion, irritability and truculence.î   Recovered from his illness, Beers began a lifelong crusade, through the National Committee for Mental Hygiene and the American Foundation for Mental Hygiene, to revolutionize the care and treatment of the mentally ill. The persuasive chronicler of mental illness became a sophisticated, pragmatic organizer and reformer.   A Mind That Found Itself was first published in 1908 but remains compelling and clinically accurate—an unforgettable reading experience.

    The Spiritual Life of Children

    The Spiritual Life of Children
    In this eighth and final volume in his Pulitzer Prize­winning Children of Crisis series, Coles examines the religious and spiritual lives of children. By using children's own words and pictures, Coles presents their deepest feelings.

    The Moral Intelligence of Children

    The Moral Intelligence of Children
    How to Raise a Moral Child
    Child psychiatrist and Harvard professor Robert Coles has actively dedicated much of his life to exemplifying, teaching, and writing about the moral life. In his wonderful new book, Coles illuminates the ways in which children become moral or not so moral adults, drawing on case studies, talks with parents, visits to nurseries and classrooms, and interviews with children. No subject could be more important and more timely-for all Americans, but especially for parents. In the tradition of such bestsellers as Cultural Literacy and Emotional Intelligence, The Moral Intelligence of Children identifies a new type of intelligence essential for success and fulfillment in life. This Plume edition will be used by parents and teachers for years to come as the authoritative guide to children's moral development. ? 7 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list! ? First serial in Time magazine. ? Major nationwide press. ? Robert Coles, a nationally recognized expert in child development, deals here with one of the hottest issues today.

    When Invisible Children Sing

    When Invisible Children Sing
    Expecting to treat some mildly ill children from the streets of Bolivia on a quick “service trip,” an idealistic young medical student gets more than he bargained for when he takes a year off from Harvard Medical School to work at an orphanage in La Paz. As he comes to know the children and sees how they live, Chi Huang is drawn deeper and deeper into their complex and desperate lives. The doctor soon realizes that to truly help these children, he will have to follow the example of Jesus: live among them, love them in spite of their brokenness, and cling to his faith in God’s goodness, even when it appears it is nowhere to be found. A true story that will inspire and challenge readers to greater faith and action.

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