Imagining what a foreign-born Dr Spock might have written if he (or she) were a Balinese healer or an Aboriginal grandmother from the Australian desert, seven experts have written 'manuals' for new parents, vividly illustrating the many models of babyhood, shaped by deeply held values and varying cultural contexts.
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'A World of Babies is a witty, charming, and yet thoughtful and informative book that … is … for anyone who has ever wondered if babies are raised the same everywhere. A World of Babies, with its seven truth-filled fictional manuals on child-rearing from different parts of the world, gently persuades us that bringing a new person into existence is always a question of culture and history.' Ruth Behar, University of Michigan
'If you ever find yourself assuming that there's just one right way - your way - to bring up babies, read this book. It's highly enjoyable and such a good idea that I only wish I'd thought of it myself.' Penelope Leach, Ph.D.
'A refreshingly creative strategy to communicate the extraordinary variety in beliefs and rearing practices that can produce healthy, happy children. Every American parent should reflect on these cultural essays.' Jerome Kagan, Harvard University
'Read these pages. This is a very moving book and a revealing one.' Jerome Bruner, New York University, from the Foreword
'Judy DeLoache and Alma Gottlieb's book is just delightful. What a treat to read about the early child rearing practices in seven cultures around the world. The universals and the individual differences are just wonderful. This book should be a treat for all parents everywhere.' T. Berry Brazelton, M.D., Harvard Medical School
'A fascinating, first-of-a-kind book … We learn a tremendous amount about each culture as we read the guidelines its members might have written for raising babies, for it is in these rules that the members of a culture display their deepest beliefs and highest ideals. Their extreme differences teach us to look beyond the narrow confines of our own childraising customs and to celebrate the rich diversity of the human family.' Robbie Davis-Floyd, author, , Birth as an American Rite of Passage
'Having a baby is a life-enhancing and mind-extending trip into new lands, much like the marvelous anthropology of child rearing in this book. Take its expedition, and it may help clarify the values and contexts of your own parenting, and bring the world's children into clearer focus.' Catherine Lutz, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
' … an entertaining and educational collection of invented guidebooks spanning the globe … intriguing …'. Booklist
'This unusual compilation makes for … fascinating reading'. Library Journal
' … an interesting starting point for culturally informed research on child development.' Common Knowledge
'This is a wonderful volume that trends a creative line between anthropology and fiction. … They form a collection tat might well surprise the lay reader and delight students in class … an excellent teaching-tool … the text can be very moving. … It is the creativeness of the chosen format that makes it delightful. Catherine Panther-Brick, University of Durham
'This is a charming book written with great care to explain each culture's different takes on birthing and raising children …'. Bookreporter.com
JUDY DELOACHE is Professor of Psychology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She is co-editor of Current Readings in Child Development, Third Edition (1998) and co-author of Child Psychology (forthcoming).
ALMA GOTTLIEB is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Her publications include Parallel Worlds: An Anthropologist and a Writer Encounter Africa (1993, with Philip Graham), Under the Kapok Tree: Identity and Difference in Beng Thought (1992), and Blood Magic: The Anthropology of Menstruation (1988, co-edited with Thomas Buckley).
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