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A clinical psychologist as well as a sociologist, Thomas J. Cottle is the author of more than twenty-five books. At the heart of his work is a concern with the problems confronted by ordinary people in their everyday lives, the kinds of issues that shape who we are and how we interact with the world around us.
In A Sense of Self, his focus is on affirmation, on that mysterious process by which the self comes to know itself in relation to others and forges an identity. He pays particular attention to the role of devotion, showing how the taking of responsibility for another is the essence of affirmation, which in turn is the fundamental ingredient in the development of a self.
About the Author
Thomas J. Cottle is professor of education at Boston University and author of numerous books, including At Peril: Stories of Injustice (University of Massachusetts Press, 2000).
"Extremely well grounded in literature and theory, the book is still accessible to a wide audience. . . . If every human being would adopt this philosophy, the world would have far fewer problems. Valuable reading in a first course on the self, this study will also be valuable in a therapeutic environment and to parents assisting their child in becoming his/her own person."—Choice
"Cottle has written a tour de force, filled with ideas, insights, and questions. He tells an engrossing story of a notion called affirmation, of the power of its presence to light up our lives, and the power of its absence to plunge us into the darkness of despair."—Lane Conn, Harvard Medical School
"The highest praise I can give to a book is to say to myself, 'I wish I had written this.' Every page contains important insights, lucidly and often elegantly expressed. A Sense of Self is learned without being pedantic, and synthetic without being overly general. Cottle's voice is strong, original, and unique."—Jeffrey Berman, author of Risky Writing: Self-Disclosure and