Hitting the Books with Gary Thorne: “Triumphs of Experience”

“Triumphs of Experience” by George E. Vallant is about findings from the longest (in time) and most in-depth study of the maturation process of adults ever undertaken.

The study began in 1938 and was intended to last 10 to 15 years. This book was written in 2012 with the study still underway.

In 1938, 268 Harvard male sophomores were selected as the subjects of the study to examine adult development. Yes, all males - a sign of the times.

Triumphs-of-Experience-Cover.jpgThrough the decades, a myriad of followup examinations, questionnaires and observations has led to the subject matter of this book. Namely, what did we find out?

A couple of the chapter titles will give you a peek inside the covers.

“Maturation Makes Liars of All of Us.”


“Resilience and Unconscious Coping.”

“Living to Ninety.”

A way too broad overview of the findings: You better find lasting relationships that make you happy, your work needs to be rewarding to you and money isn’t going to get it done.

The author was director of this study (“The Study.” as it has become known) from 1972 to 2004. He is a psychiatrist, professor and author at Harvard

Look, we all love to examine the lives of others, but never has there been a chance to view so intimately others’ lives for so long.

Is there a secret to happiness? No, but there are some elements common to all to help us get there.

That’s what this book and study are all about and the reading is fascinating.

“Count your age by friends, not years. Count your life by smiles, not tears.” ― John Lennon

Gary Thorne is the play-by-play voice of the Orioles on MASN, and the 2019 season is his 13th with the club and 34th covering Major League Baseball. His blog will appear regularly throughout the season. The Orioles and Sarasota County, for the 8th consecutive year, have partnered on the Big League Reader Program, which rewarded kids who read three books in February with tickets to a Grapefruit League game at Ed Smith Stadium in March.

* Hitting the Books with Gary Thorne. © Copyright 2019 Gary F. Thorne. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Gary F. Thorne and MASNsports.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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