Born for Love: Why Empathy Is Essential--and Endangered

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9780061656781: Born for Love: Why Empathy Is Essential--and Endangered

“Bruce Perry is both a world-class creative scientist and a compassionate therapist.”

—Mary Pipher, author of Reviving Ophelia

 

Born for Love is the definitive book on empathy. Renowned psychiatrist Bruce Perry has appeared on Oprah, CNN, National Public Radio’s All Things Considered, and other programs as an expert in this hot area of neuroscience, and has been cited as such in Newsweek, the New York Times, and The New Yorker (in a story written by Malcolm Gladwell). He and co-writer Maia Szalavitz explore empathy’s startling importance in human evolution and its significance for our children and our society. The authors of The Boy Who was Raised as a Dog present a powerful case that love is essential...and endangered.

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From the Back Cover:

An inside look at the power of empathy: Born for Love is an unprecedented exploration of how and why the brain learns to bond with others—and a stirring call to protect our children from new threats to their capacity to love

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 ability to love and to share the feelings of others.

In this provocative book, renowned child psychiatrist Bruce D. Perry and award-winning science journalist Maia Szalavitz interweave research and stories from Perry's practice with cutting-edge scientific studies and historical examples to explain how empathy develops, why it is essential for our development into healthy adults, and how it is threatened in the modern world.

Perry and Szalavitz show that compassion underlies the qualities that make society work—trust, altruism, collaboration, love, charity—and how difficulties related to empathy are key factors in social problems such as war, crime, racism, and mental illness. Even physical health, from infectious diseases to heart attacks, is deeply affected by our human connections to one another.

As Born for Love reveals, recent changes in technology, child-rearing practices, education, and lifestyles are starting to rob children of necessary human contact and deep relationships—the essential foundation for empathy and a caring, healthy society. Sounding an important warning bell, Born for Love offers practical ideas for combating the negative influences of modern life and fostering positive social change to benefit us all.

About 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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