By W. Andrew Achenbaum

Robert Neil Butler (1927–2010) was once a student, psychiatrist, and Pulitzer Prize–winning writer who revolutionized the way in which the realm thinks approximately getting older and the aged. one of many first psychiatrists to have interaction with older women and men outdoor of institutional settings, Butler coined the time period "ageism" to attract recognition to discrimination opposed to older adults and spent a life-time operating to enhance their prestige, clinical therapy, and care. Early in his occupation, Butler seized at the optimistic positive aspects of late-life development—aspects he documented in his pathbreaking learn on "healthy getting older" on the nationwide Institutes of health and wellbeing and in deepest perform. He set the nation’s age-based well-being care time table and study priorities as founding director of the nationwide Institute on getting older and by means of developing the 1st interprofessional, interdisciplinary division of geriatrics at manhattan City’s Mount Sinai sanatorium. within the ultimate twenty years of his profession, Butler created a world alliance of scientists, educators, practitioners, politicians, newshounds, and advocates throughout the foreign durability heart. A pupil who knew Butler individually and professionally, W. Andrew Achenbaum follows this pioneer’s major contributions to the concept that of fit getting older and the proposal that getting older isn't really synonymous with actual and psychological decline. Emphasizing the revolutionary features of Butler’s method and perception, Achenbaum affirms the continued relevance of his paintings to gerontology, geriatrics, medication, social paintings, and comparable fields.

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In the 1970s neither Butler nor Lewis was consistent in differentiating between retrieving memories and engaging in life review. This imprecision provoked criticism. According to William Randall and Elizabeth McKim, “the difference between retrieving our memory and reviewing our life is the difference between a store-wide inventory of the stock on the shelves and audit of the books.  . such a tallying clearly has its place, yet there is always more material tucked away in memory than meets the conscious mind” (2008:171).

Augustine’s Confessions, offered another model conducive to doing life review. In papers and speeches Butler referred to introspective struggles manifest in modern-day memoirs, such as Robert McNamara’s The Tragedy and Lessons of Vietnam (1995) and Larry McMurty’s Roads: Driving America’s Great Highways (2000). While none of these approaches “necessarily represent the unvarnished truth,” Butler noted roughly four decades after 10 LIFE REVIEW beginning work on life review, reminiscence per se would not constitute “true” life review unless it entailed a critical assessment of prior events in a subject’s life.

One of the great secondary schools in the nation, DeWitt Clinton catered to smart children of immigrants, preparing them for the nation’s most rigorous colleges and professional schools. It was also the largest high school in the world during the 1930s, enrolling more than 12,000 boys (Jackson 1995:332). The writer James Baldwin graduated in 1942, the year before Butler; playwright Neil Simon, the year after. While Vineland’s schools had not prepared Robert Butler adequately for the competition and intellectual pressures at DeWitt Clinton, his stepfather, Fred Schlatter, demanded that homework be completed.

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