Born for Love: Why Empathy Is Essential-and Endangered

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Overview

Uncover the startling importance of empathy

From birth, when babies' fingers instinctively cling to those of adults, their bodies and brains seek an intimate connection—a bond made possible by empathy, the remarkable ability to love and to share the feelings of others.

In this unforgettable book, award-winning science journalist Maia Szalavitz and renowned child-psychiatrist Bruce D. Perry explain how empathy develops, why it is essential ...

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Born for Love: Why Empathy Is Essential-and Endangered

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Overview

Uncover the startling importance of empathy

From birth, when babies' fingers instinctively cling to those of adults, their bodies and brains seek an intimate connection—a bond made possible by empathy, the remarkable ability to love and to share the feelings of others.

In this unforgettable book, award-winning science journalist Maia Szalavitz and renowned child-psychiatrist Bruce D. Perry explain how empathy develops, why it is essential both to human happiness and for a functional society, and how it is threatened in the modern world.

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Editorial Reviews

Gretchen Rubin
“Empathy, and the ties that bind people into relationships, are key elements of happiness. Born for Love is truly fascinating.”
Annie Murphy Paul
“Strikingly original and thought-provoking, Born for Love explores the crucially important role empathy plays in all of our lives. It should be required reading for every parent, partner, and friend.”
Denver Post
“Once in awhile a book changes the way I experience the world. This time it’s Born For Love, by Bruce D. Perry and Maia Szalavitz. Their book explores how children learn to love-or not. No work of fiction is as compelling.”
BigThink.com
“An accessible and important work of popular science.”
Library Journal
Psychiatrist Perry (Child Trauma Acad.) and award-winning science journalist Szalavitz collaborated on The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog, and this work maintains their high standard of quality as they explore their topic as it pertains to the newborn infant and to society at large—here and abroad. Mirror neurons bond infant and caregiver, releasing the hormone oxytocin to ingrain and reinforce the lifelong capacity for empathy. Chapters use compelling vignettes to explain this phenomenon in adoption, autism, health, school; groups and gangs; war, economics, and politics; and status and stress. The authors effectively connect neurons and psyche, family, and the wider world. They explain epigenetics and how genes are "set" for or against flexibility by early experience. Research shows the advantages of paid leave for new parents and the disadvantages of screen time (e.g., television and video games), economic inequality (which fosters mistrust and alienation), and chronic stress. VERDICT This clear, expert, up-to-date presentation of what makes us human, happy, and durable as a species will enhance any library. [Ebook ISBN 978-0-06-198767-0.]—E. James Lieberman, George Washington Univ. Sch. of Medicine, Washington, DC
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061656798
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/5/2011
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 189,065
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Bruce D. Perry, M.D., Ph.D., is the senior fellow of the ChildTrauma Academy (www.ChildTrauma.org), a not-for-profit organization based in Houston that is dedicated to improving the lives of high-risk children, and he is an adjunct professor of psychiatry at the Northwestern University School of Medicine in Chicago. He is the author, with Maia Szalavitz, of The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog, a bestselling book based on his work with maltreated children.

Maia Szalavitz is the author of Help at Any Cost: How the Troubled-Teen Industry Cons Parents and Hurts Kids (Riverhead, 2006), which led to state investigations into the industry as well as federal legislation. She is a senior fellow at media watchdog STATS.org and has written for the New York Times, Elle, Time magazine online, and the Washington Post.

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Table of Contents

Authors' Note ix

Introduction 1

1 Heaven is Other People 7

2 In Your Face 27

3 Missing People 45

4 Intense World 72

5 Lies and Consequences 96

6 No Mercy 120

7 Resilience 145

8 The Chameleon 170

9 Us Versus Them 193

10 Glued to the Tube 211

11 On Baboons, British Civil Servants, and the Oscars 232

12 Warm as Iceland 259

13 All Together Now 288

epilogue People and Programs 323

Acknowledgments 335

Appendix 338

Notes 343

Index 364

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Customer Reviews

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