Book Review: Wisdom from Wasilla (No, Not Her)

Thank goodness that Wasilla, Alaska has contributed more than a certain former vice presidential candidate toward enriching our civic dialogue.

Indeed, Wasilla’s true gift to the world may be Charles D. Hayes, a retired, largely self-educated writer and practical philosopher whose books and essays on finding meaning in life remain hidden classics.  Through his writings, Hayes gives us a singularly wise, humane, and insightful voice, especially for those in the second half of their journeys.

September University

Hayes’s latest book, September University: Summoning Passion for an Unfinished Life (Autodidactic Press, 2010, trade paperback), provides a unique mix of philosophy, values, homespun wisdom, deep reflection, and embrace of lifelong learning, all designed to encourage readers to enrich their lives and make genuine contributions to the world around them.

Though written especially for seniors, September University will resonate with, guide, and inspire anyone who is eager to move past the superficial trappings of modern life. At age 50, I feel like this book gives me a “head start” on seeking wisdom and meaning that might otherwise escape me until much later.

For those who are trying to define their work lives (paid or volunteer, in or out of the home), September University provides a context for thinking how our labor contributes to our own fulfillment and to the greater good.  At this moment in time, when our popular culture has become so diminished and we are struggling to recover from an economic meltdown driven by greed and corruption, September University offers anyone a grounded vision of a more fulfilling way to live, work, and reflect.

This book is a difference maker and deserves to be a word-of-mouth phenomenon. I hope that a lot of people will give it a try.

Ordering Information and Link

September University can be ordered online from Amazon.com or from Autodidactic Press, where Hayes also has posted a number of thoughtful and provocative essays that can be downloaded without charge: http://www.autodidactic.com/

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