This book identifies and explores a particular story about life - a narrative identity. At the centre of this life story is the concept of redemption as the deliverance from suffering to a better world. Adults who score high on psychological measures indicating a caring and productive approach to life tend to construe their own lives as narratives of redemption in which a gifted and sensitive protagonist repeatedly suffers pain and even abuse, but is ultimately rewarded with freedom, atonement, recovery, fulfillment, or enhanced social standing. McAdams weaves together findings from recent studies in the psychological and social sciences his own extensive research into the lives of particularly caring and productive midlife adults, and engaging accounts from American history and biography.

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