From the first page it is obvious that the author has an incredibly diverse background of experience and knowledge which enable him to take a high level view of the world. Most books dive right into a subject and never explain where they are going. Handy tries to fit all of our life experiences into a model by stating that life is a series of paradoxes. And therein lies the key--we cannot make a perfect working model of life because things are always paradoxical in nature. Take the paradox of justice--Handy's discussion of this phenomenon allows you to finally come to grips with why issues such as affirmative action can seem so compelling to both sides.
If you are interested on the ideas of capitalism and whether or not it is a best solution the book provides some real insights. Take for example Handy's simple explanation about Adam Smith and The Wealth of Nations. Having personally done some reading on the subject, Handy was the first to inform me that Smith was actually a professor of moral philosophy. He thought that the market would work, but it would require social responsibility on the part of society. I think this simple point is rarely discussed when using Smith's invisible hand in defense of capitalism.
As an avid reader who gets disinterested after the first chapter of most books, this is the first one in a long time worthy of being finished. Handy has an amazing ability to incorporate our experiences in life: love, money, work, family, etc. into a model which serves to explain it all. While I'm sure Handy himself would agree that his model is incomplete, the thought excites me and I can't wait to see what "age" he publishes next.
This book may not be the newest book out there, but it is certainly one of the best.