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Bob Kastenbaum’s exploits as skating messenger apparently qualified him to become editor of two community newspapers, an eccentric career trajectory that somehow led to a graduate scholarship in philosophy and a Ph.D. in psychology at the University of Southern California (1959). He was most interested in fields of psychological study that barely existed at the time: lifespan development and aging, time perspective, creativity, and death and dying. Kastenbaum became part of an emerging cadre that overcame the prevailing neglect and resistance to these issues. He worked in varied settings as clinician, researcher, activist, hospital administrator, educator, and author. The innovative programs he introduced into a geriatric hospital and his article, “The Reluctant Therapist” have been credited with preparing the way for increased attention to the needs and potentials of vulnerable elders and terminally ill people. With Dick Kalish, he founded Omega, the first peer-reviewed journal focused on death-related issues. Kastenbaum taught the first regularly-scheduled university course on death and dying and came up with the first textbook (Death, Society, & Human Experience, 1977). He also established the first university-based educational and research center on death and dying (Wayne State University, 1966). His other books include The Psychology of Death (1972, 1990, 2000); Dorian, Graying: Is Youth the Only Thing Worth Having? (1995), and On Our Way. The Final Passage Through Life and Death (2004). He has also served as editor of the Macmillan Encyclopedia of Death and Dying, (2003) and two previous encyclopedias. In the public sphere he has served as a co-founder of The National Caucus on Black Aging, consultant to the United States Senate Special Subcommittee on Aging, and participant in developing the Veterans Administration’s geriatric research and educational centers, and the landmark National Hospice Demonstration Project. Kastenbaum lives in Tempe, Arizona with Bunny (wife), Angel (The Incredible Leaping Dog), enhanced by Pumpkin and Snowflake in the cat department. Along with his continuing research interests, Kastenbaum has been writing book and verse for musicals and operas. He notes that nobody has died in the two most recently premiered operas (Closing Time; American Gothic, music by Kenneth LaFave), but cannot make any such promises about the next opera.
Table of Contents
|As We Think About Death|
|What is Death?|
|The Death System|
|Hospice and Palliative Care|
|End of Life Issues and Decisions|
|Violent Death: Murder, Terrorism, Genocide, Disaster, and Accident|
|Euthanasia Assisted Death, Abortion, and the Right to Die|
|Death in the World of Childhood|
|Bereavement, Grief, and Mourning|
|The Funeral Process|
|Do We Survive Death?|
|How Can We Help?|
|Good Life, Good Death?|
|Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.|