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Born to Rebel: Birth Order, Family Dynamics, and Creative Lives Paperback – September 2, 1997
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
The general pattern, examined within larger social, political, religious and scientific arenas, shows how later-borns become the flexible, innovative thinkers. While, necessarily, only a few become actual creators of new ideas, they more readily accept fresh concepts. Later-borns learn to adapt in the family environment - it's a survival trait. First-borns, and Sulloway notes the difference between chronological and "functional" first-borns, cling to a conservative stance. Even if the parents are radical thinkers, their first-borns will adhere to their way of thinking. Later-borns in such a circumstance are more likely to depart from the family's stance, adhering to more conservative social or political ideas. The disparity in attitudes is the norm within the family, not necessarily across family boundaries.
Throughout the book, Sulloway frequently turns to Darwin as a case study in strengthening his thesis. It's a wise choice, since Darwin is emblematic of what Sulloway asserts. middle-class, middle sibling, middle-aged at the peak of his achievements, Darwin exemplifies most of Sulloway's criteria for distinguishing birth order as a personality driver.Read more ›
You might want to look at the discussion of Sulloway's work in Judith Harris' recent _No Two Alike_, pp 92-112. According to that account, Sulloway's work was never published in a peer reviewed journal, the book in which it was published failed to provide the sort of information needed for other people to check the truth of his results, and Sulloway repeatedly refused requests for such data--for instance, the names of the Protestant and Catholic martyrs whose birth order rankings he offers as evidence, or cites to the studies whose results he claims to summarize.
When someone wrote a critical article pointing out evidence that his factual assertions about the data were false, he delayed the publication for several years by the threat of lawsuits.
Judging by her previous book, Harris is a careful writer, so absent some evidence to the contrary my current conclusion is that Sulloway is a fraud.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
amazing concept of the importace of birth order. A must read for shrinksPublished 17 months ago by ferenc vegh
Everyone on the planet, past, present, and future, has a birth order. Apparently during the first five years of human life there is an amazing unconscious development. Read morePublished on January 9, 2014 by Jim Nichols
I am doing research in the area of Family Dynamics and Birth order and I find these books to be very helpfulPublished on December 17, 2013 by Amazon Customer
A fascinating book! Sulloway is an MIT History of Science specialist who has done a lot of research and a lot of number crunching to make his case for birth order characteristics. Read morePublished on March 20, 2013 by Marya
I have just heard Mr. Sulloway interviewed this morning on KQED regarding his Darwinian interpretation of struggles within family niches. Read morePublished on July 16, 2010 by Sabrikitty
This is a book that attracted a great deal of attention when it first came out. And, indeed, ironically, a couple colleagues and I had a related book, "Birth Order and Political... Read morePublished on February 8, 2009 by Steven Peterson
First of all, I'm not qualified to evaluate the statistical analysis work that Sulloway has done. I left this book with the feeling that he has uncovered a trend worth considering... Read morePublished on December 29, 2008 by frumiousb
Many reviews posted here do not argue his statistics, but rather argue the outcome. As science goes, the only way to refute the results is to refute the methodology or the data. Read morePublished on October 22, 2008 by Stephen H. Buck