Ghosts from the Nursery: Tracing the Roots of Violence [NOOK Book]


This new, revised edition incorporates significant advances in neurobiological research over the past decade, and includes a new introduction by Dr. Vincent J. Felitti, a leading researcher in the field. When Ghosts from the Nursery: Tracing the Roots of Violence was published in 1997, it was lauded for providing scientific evidence that violence can originate in the womb and become entrenched in a child’s brain by preschool. The authors’ groundbreaking conclusions became even more relevant following the wave of...
See more details below
Ghosts from the Nursery: Tracing the Roots of Violence

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$9.99 price
(Save 41%)$17.00 List Price


This new, revised edition incorporates significant advances in neurobiological research over the past decade, and includes a new introduction by Dr. Vincent J. Felitti, a leading researcher in the field. When Ghosts from the Nursery: Tracing the Roots of Violence was published in 1997, it was lauded for providing scientific evidence that violence can originate in the womb and become entrenched in a child’s brain by preschool. The authors’ groundbreaking conclusions became even more relevant following the wave of school shootings across the nation including the tragedy at Columbine High School and the shocking subsequent shootings culminating most recently in the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Following each of these media coverage and public debate turned yet again to the usual suspects concerning the causes of violence: widespread availability of guns and lack of mental health services for late-stage treatment. Discussion of the impact of trauma on human life—especially early in life during chemical and structural formation of the brain—is missing from the equation. Karr-Morse and Wiley continue to shift the conversation among parents and policy makers toward more fundamental preventative measures against violence.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Ghosts from the Nursery is ominous and persuasive. . . . [Karr-Morse and Wiley] join a growing chorus of childhood development experts in insisting that, to be effective, programs seeking to insure the welfare of children must intervene even before birth. . . .The unspoken message of Ghosts from the Nursery is more sobering still. It seems we have strayed so far from common sense and sensitivity in child rearing that we must rely on brain scans and F.B.I. statistics to remind us of what babies have always needed to thrive: attention, nourishment, stability and love." —The New York Times Book Review

"A deeply disturbing wake-up call." —Publishers Weekly

"Karr-Morse and Wiley boldly raise some tough issues. . . . [They] start with a grim question—why are children violent?—and they forge a passionate and cogent argument for focusing our collective energies on infancy and parenthood to stop the cycle of ruined lives." —The Seattle Times

"An expert, disturbing and vitally important book . . . . If the problem of violence in America concerns you, read this book. You will be given no quick fixes. You are given truth. And it’s truth all of us need to know." —Statesman Journal

"An alarming book with national scope. . . . [Its] methodical approach tying childhood development to recent research about the brain pushes us one step further down the road to dealing two intersecting and important issues: how to protect society from its growing pocket of violent citizens and how to protect children from the abuse and neglect that lead to membership in that terrible club." —The Portland Oregonian

"This book will make you realize as never before the importance of the 0-3-year period in every child’s life. Ghosts from the Nursery shows the heavy price society pays for child abuse and neglect. This book skillfully takes a very real and frightening issue and encourages us to work harder to end it." —Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, United States Senate

"Right! Right! Right! This easy-to-read book is right on track for helping guide policy makers and parents about America’s most precious resource . . . her children. I highly recommend it." —Dr. Ken Magid, author of High Risk: Children Without a Conscience

"The first three years of life are crucial not only to children but also to the whole society in which they live and grow and eventually reproduce. It is in the context of the self-interest even of those who care least for small children that this book appeals for child-friendly practices and policies—and should be widely heard." —Penelope Leach, Ph.D., author of Children First

"Essential reading for anyone interested in the roots of violence and in finding ways of reducing violence in our society." —Geraldine Dawson, Professor of Psychology, University of Washington, and editor of Human Behavior and the Developing Brain

"Robin Karr-Morse and Meredith Wiley are to be applauded for so successfully tracing the roots of violence to the complex early relations between brain and behavioral development. The story they tell is one that should be heard, and the warning bells they sound should be our wake-up call to do better by our children." —Charles A. Nelson, Professor of Child Psychology, Pediatrics, and Neuroscience, University of Minnesota

"In this remarkable and timely book, Robin Karr-Morse and Meredith Wiley interweave the compelling narrative of a child who has committed a violent crime with a comprehensive description of current relevant studies on attachment disturbances and brain development (many of which are being presented to the informed public for the first time) in order to convincingly argue that the roots of violence are cultivated in infancy. . . . The essential question is how we as a society can transform this pragmatic knowledge into very early prevention programs." —Allan N. Schore, Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, University of California at Los Angeles School of Medicine

"Ghosts from the Nursery is an impressive book. As I read it I found myself wishing that I had had all the information and wisdom in this book back when I started working with children. The authors have done a wonderful job of digesting and presenting various complex areas and issues in a clear, entertaining fashion. It is a rare combination of skill, insight and intelligence that produced this book." —Bruce D. Perry, MD, Ph.D.

"[Karr-Morse and Wiley] clearly and powerfully elucidate why children are capable of the most heinous crimes possible and why violence has reached epidemic proportions. The future is bleak for all of us if we do not heed the warnings of children in need of nurturing, guidance and concerned parenting. This is a clear, well-researched book that deserves wide reading." —Matilda Raffa Cuomo

"Violence is one of the most compelling problems of our time, not only in our nation , but around the world. Ghosts from the Nursery is a major contribution to a new understanding of this issue. The premises set forth are backed with hard data from many relevant sources and it is written in an elegant and interesting literary style. I highly recommend it." —Dr. Stella Chess, MD

"Ghosts from the Nursery is a must read book for those who seek to repair shattered lives—and those who seek to prevent the shattering. An important book for people who try to make the world a more civilized place." —Craig Ramey, Director, Civitan International Research Center

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802196330
  • Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 12/1/2007
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 197,042
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

ROBIN KARR-MORSE is a family therapist in private practice. She is the former Director of Parent Training for the Oregon Child Welfare System, previously the founding Director of the Oregon Children’s Trust Fund and is currently the founding Director of the Parenting Institute. She is a consultant to several policy groups working to reimagine and shift social policy from its sole focus on remediation toward prevention of trauma in children’s development. She lives in Portland, Oregon.

MEREDITH S. WILEY is the former State Director of Fight Crime: Invest in Kids New York. She lives in Mariposa, California. Karr-Morse and Wiley are coauthors of Scared Sick: The Role of Childhood Trauma in Adult Disease.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2013

    If you need a kit rped

    Post it here.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2013


    Really interested in it

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 18, 2005

    Impactful - Insight for the possible hope of a 'new' future

    This book is impelling. I'm reading it for a project on brain development and child abuse and out of all of the documentation I have read thus far, this book is an eye opener. It is a very easy read. The smoothness of this book and the impact provided by each chapter, makes it a difficult book to put down. I believe this book will open the eyes of many, including helping those who have been abused as children, along with the people close to them. It reveals a clear understanding of how the consequences of abuse can be life-long and never ending. The insight the book provides, may open all of our eyes to a possible new beginning creating an awareness for all, and therefore, assisting us in molding a new future for all, both as individuals and as a society. Caring for our children in a positive, nurturing way will create a society reflective of that.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)