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Genius Genes: How Asperger Talents Changed the World Paperback – 30 Jun 2007
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
This book helps supply information regarding my interest in people who are creative, and those who are genius or near genius. It helps explain some of their quirks and what makes them interesting, and most of us have met someone that meets this definition.
Despite loving the book, I found the book repetitive at times. I also had some difficulty with the authors' overly frequent comparison of the individuals highlighted with philosophier Ludwig Wittgenstein. I found these frequent comparsions very distracting, and I felt if he was such a perfect case of Aspergers that a chapter should have been added and devoted to him. So distracting were these comparsions for me that I nearly rated the book as a 4 verse the 5 I gave it.
This book could be used as the basis for the belief that being 'normal' is not 'holy grail' for humanity. What is 'normal' anyway? Who wants to be mundane/normal anyway -- especially considering some of the crack pots who are trying to define what 'normal' is -- see the section on behaviorist J. B. Watson and the implications of his social engineering views to see my point?
I'm disappointed when I got this book because it almost exclusively talks about second-hand biographies or even legends of some great people in history who "may" have Asperger Syndrome. Although the authors sound very confident to make their "diagnosis" of AS on these great figures (such as Newton, Einstein, Thomas Jefferson), I personally don't think it is accurate (such as in Newton's case). Anyway, this is not what I care, and I don't need the consolation that since many great people have AS, I should feel better (I don't feel bad for my son). On the other hand, although the first author is an expert of AS, I'm surprise that this book lack two important things: 1. An analysis AS itself - at least these parts relevant to the topic, such as what factors are important for the future success (I don't mean to be a Newton) of an AS kid. 2. An analysis of Today's successful figures with AS. AS is not a rare disorder, there must be many highly achieved "geniuses" with AS nowadays in this world. Who are they, where are they, what are their psychological traits, what are their life stories, what make them successful (nature or nurture)...? I feel that the authors are not able to answer these important questions, but instead they pick a shortcut to write a book with fancy title.
THis is a fascinating groundbreaking book.