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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 28 January 2014
Born for Love is an excellent book, recommended, but with some flaws.

Amongst the many I could mention a few of note...

Mention was made of Irish travellers in a manner probably/possibly unlawful in the UK – see..

Page 98 “Some – but by no means all – Traveler groups are essentially organised crime families “ (Imaging the editor's reaction had it read “..WASP American groups are essentially organised crime families”).

Pp 110-111 “In one criminal Traveler group, for example, a woman devised a scan to rip off Disney....”

Page 262 they contrast Iceland's prison population with America's (much, much bigger) & whilst strictly correct “..less that half a percent”.. should one suspect's have read “.. less than half of one-tenth of a percent...”.

But, overall, an excellent book, recommended.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on 18 May 2011
This book was a very entertaining and enlightening surprise. It brought into stark reality the effect of the US 'each for his own' concept, and precisely how it not only undermines empathy, but rather a lot more.

It is articulately written and well organised, with well explained and appropriate case studies. And a good balance between the necessary touchy-feely and the mechanics of empathy and related matters. I strongly feel that the potential audience is large - including those who are aware how un-empathic they are, for being so may not be the best for their health. I personally plan to reread it in order to better absorb the many concepts and details offered.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
An interesting book about empathy, the ability to connect and view the world from another, but, this starts with so many false premises, it is difficult to separate the good from the bad.

For example there is no therapeutic method detailed within the book, nothing which points to how to work with young people who have experienced early trauma. More importantly there is no sense of emotional recovery - and this colours the whole of the "research." Imported nihilism becomes a tautology - abused people do not get better and therefore we study how damaged they are. It is an ideology which permeates psychiatry and is becoming the new "faith." Psychiatry and psychology were in abuse denial for 100 years whilst they wove their eugenics/epigenetics hogwash.

What the reader gets is a description of various diagnoses used to stigmatise the other person. Some of these issues relate to early attachment trauma, such as the boy from the affluent parents who has no empathy. This was by far the best of the case histories for me, as it brought home the developmental issues inherent in a family which had money, wealth, power and status. It details how an emotional deficiency is passed on, despite being affluent. This is the key.

The case history of the East European orphans is the sounding bell for the inherent nihilism which pervades the book, ie people do not transcend their original diagnosis. This is very righteous American and filled with original sin.

So the belief goes; If you are trashed in early childhood you are inevitably going to be carrying these developmental scars into adulthood. These are going to manifest themselves as intra familial genetic codes.

To back up this voodoo - there is a great deal of speculation around voles and oxytocin, tales of rats spun in cages and a whole range of speculative psychological treatises - relentlessly deployed; triggers, neurons, chemical imbalances.

The trouble is none of this is science as it has no empirical proof ie like Gravity or Hooks Law. But it is however deployed in layperson's terminology as though it has been proved beyond certainty, and therefore has legitimacy. If anyone wants to go back to the original studies these have not.

Meanwhile there is a taken for granted view stretching from inhabiting the habitus of manners being expressed about the other; the client, that we the professionals are the white hats and they are the black ones. These people lack emotions. But what appeared to be nakedly visible to me is - the authors also suffer from the malady they describe, and so the question which arose; Is their whole treatise a psychological projection?

Has it not formed in their own psychologies first before they expressed it onto their young subjects? Certainly there is considerable insight in some of the case histories, but when they describe the travelling children, there is a rearing up of the eugenical categories; Jukes and the Kallikaks - the eternal return of eugenical ideologies of the interbred criminal types polluting the middle class gene pool.

Autism for these volk appears to be something that arises from the "bad seed," despite the young people they work with from Eastern Europe being visibly abused. Does the message become clearer?

Autism instead is reduced to "genes" but without any empirical proof, because this is convenient. The case histories therefore are based upon what Szasz would highlight - whoever gets the diagnosis in first is believed.

The book is a refreshing look at love and empathy within the USA compared to much of the other literature, relentlessly produced, but it lacks any "science" to back up its "science." Everything is based on faith and ultimately what is conveyed is another form of eugenical nihilism - except with a nicer sugared coating.

Let me explain, people do recover from the most horrendous of circumstances, but you require a special set of skills to enthuse it, plus you require belief and an ability to learn. Whilst the learning mode is apparent, the other components are not and any student who reads this is going to be indoctrinated with poor therapeutic practice from inception.

Who would want to put electrodes on children and expect them to behave naturally? The book details those who have attachment are more secure. It builds on Bowlby, Ainsworth and Spitz but then details who this has become corrupted with a new form of eugenical millenarianism -

The split now centres upon those who were treated ok in families, the elect and those who were not, the dammed. So ultimately we are led back by the nose to biblical morality and the desire to differentiate - when will these people learn it is not them but us.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 29 September 2013
I bought this book for work, but I found it really interesting. It is about more that children and parenting. It helped me clarify my ideas about some of things that are going on now politically, and confirmed my views that our current (conservative) government are on totally the wrong track. Also it is good for understanding children and impacts of trauma and neglect on them, and what parents and others can do to ameliorate that
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 30 August 2012
As part of my research for the characters of an upcoming novel, I'd been looking for a book on empathy with case studies of people at different points along the empathy continuum. Not only did "Born for Love" meet my expectations in this respect, it taught me a whole lot more. Written in an informed yet accessible style with plenty of well researched case studies, the book clearly explains what empathy is, how it might have evolved, the conditions needed for its development, and the tragic consequences of impeding that development. It then goes on to make some interesting observations of how our present culture may be creating grave problems for society through its failure to nurture and promote this important faculty within our children.

Thoroughly recommended.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 30 August 2013
This book should be compulsory reading in all schools,Come to think of it all heads of business and top politicians should read it too. It is a well put together book which clearly shows that compassion and empathy are not just some cosy pleasant righteous way of being. They are essential for the survival of the human race. It's that simple.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 8 March 2013
Usually I find scientific books somewhat hard to read and follow, they don't exactly tend to be pageturners! However this read I would recommend to everyone and anyone. The implications of the studies and their outcomes are amazing and I find myself telling so many people about this book; what you think doesn't matter and can't possibly be connected ...actually really does/is. The scientific background combined with 'real-life' stories (even though they are American and therefore occasionally a bit crass) make this easy to understand, read and pass on. An extraordinary eye-opener when it comes to (child) psychology and how empathy is indeed essential.
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on 15 May 2015
Excellent. ..Bruce Perry truly gets professionals to revaluate your approach and to think....o would definitely recommend this book to any professional working with children..and colleges should make it compulsory reading
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 19 September 2013
A great book that helps understand the importance of empathy in human relationships. Looks at a variety of individuals and how they have benefited from the empathy. Also takes a look at the downside of human relationships where there is no empathy. How social policies that lack empathy can have detrimental effects on people in society. As a lay person with an interest in the subject I found it easy to follow and enthralling.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 9 January 2013
This book was recommended by Erin Pizzey who launched the first women's refuge.
It was purchased by me as a Christmas present for my daughter, who is working as a counsellor, and for whom it seemed appropriate.
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