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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.
The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog and Other Stories from a Child Psychiatrist's Notebook: What Traumatized Children Can Teach Us About Loss, Love, and Healingby Bruce Perry Maia Szalavitz
Deftly combining unforgettable case histories with his own compassionate strategies for rehabilitation, a child psychiatrist explains what exactly happens to the brain when a child is exposed to extreme stress.
Starred Review. In this moving debut memoir, the nephew of a Mormon sect leader chronicles life in the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and what came after. Among a 10,000-member Mormon community, Jeffs grew up with three mothers, more than a dozen siblings, and a deep fear of the world outside of the church. Within the secretive community, Jeffs was taught that purity came from special attention to dress, hard work, generosity and, most importantly, obedience to one's elders (especially his uncle, the prophet Warren Jeffs). The focus of this fast-paced memoir is the sexual abuse Jeffs and his brothers endured at the hands of their relatives during church and school functions, for which he would file a class-action lawsuit in 2004. Jeffs's descent into depression proves the beginning of the end for his relationship with the church and, consequently, with much of his family. Jeffs outlines the core beliefs of the Church, along with the oppressive ends to which they were used, and the heartbreaking fate of those church members expelled into a society they were raised to see as evil and corrupt. This hard-to-put-down, tightly woven account pulls back the curtain on what's become a perennial news story, while illustrating the impiety of absolute power and the delicacy of innocence. Copyright Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
In the polygamous Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (FLDS), girls can become valuable property as plural wives, but boys are expendable, even a liability. In this powerful and heartbreaking account, former FLDS member Brent Jeffs reveals both the terror and the love he experienced growing up on his prophet's compound--and the harsh exile existence that so many boys face once they have been expelled by the sect. Brent Jeffs is the nephew of Warren Jeffs, the imprisoned leader of the FLDS. The son of a prominent family in the church, Brent could have grown up to have multiple wives of his own and significant power in the 10,000-strong community. But he knew that behind the group's pious public image--women in chaste dresses carrying babies on their hips--lay a much darker reality. So he walked away, and was the first to file a sexual-abuse lawsuit against his uncle. Now Brent shares his courageous story and that of many other young men who have become "lost boys" when they leave the FLDS, either by choice or by expulsion. Brent experienced firsthand the absolute power that church leaders wield--the kind of power that corrupts and perverts those who will do anything to maintain it. Once young men no longer belong to the church, they are cast out into a world for which they are utterly unprepared. More often than not, they succumb to the temptations of alcohol and other drugs. Tragically, Brent lost two of his brothers in this struggle, one to suicide, the other to overdose. In this book he shows that lost boys can triumph and that abuse and trauma can be overcome, and he hopes that readers will be inspired to help former FLDS members find their way in the world.
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