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OK but the title is a bit misleading
on 17 July 2011
This book will be very interesting for those into developmental psychology during the early years of childhood. However, those (like myself) who might buy the book expecting to find a wider coverage of the problems with society today, will likely be disappointed with it. The main thrust is that the quality of care and upbringing that a child receives in the first couple of years of life, largely determines whether their adult behaviour will be good (caring, empathic, sensitive to others, etc) or bad (selfish, materialistic, status-obsessed, etc). While I have great respect for the author's depth of knowledge in this field, I think that (a) there are many other influences that determine how an adult behaves, and (b) the adult's behaviour, outlook and values can change markedly over time in response to life experiences.
I would like to have seen a broader coverage of modern day selfish behaviour and how it might be addressed to improve our society. It would be rather depressing to conclude that our adult behaviour is so largely determined by the care we receive in the first two years of life, and I for one don't accept this is true. The book suggests that if we can improve the early years experience, then in 20 years time we will start to see a generation of well-adjusted, society-friendly adults emerging to make our society "better". While we should certainly do this, I think there are other ways we can try to influence the behaviour of those already beyond this age, and the book should have tried to cover this.
Still an interesting read, but perhaps the title should have reflected the main focus on early years child development.