From Publishers Weekly
Farb, a biologist and activist, urges adults to be consciously aware of the choices they make in parenting and how these are shaped by such outside influences as the media, popular culture and marketing. The author covers a number of issues, including natural childbirth, breastfeeding, animal rights and progressive education, citing research as well as personal experience to shore up her arguments in support of each. A tedious chapter dissects the author's birth experiences, but overall, Farb's concise, earnest writing reveals an apparently heartfelt wish to make the world a safer, better place for children and families. A devoted vegan, the author includes a useful chapter on the advantages of vegan diets for pregnant women as well as for families and reveals disturbing information about the practices of the meat and poultry industries (she was once employed as a biodecontamination specialist). Home-schooling, not surprisingly, is another of her favorite topics, as is the potential dangers of vaccinating children, which she covers in depth. While some of her leaps seem dubious (she speculates, for instance, that bottle-fed babies will grow up to be more materialistic than those who are breastfed), much of her text is obviously carefully researched. Though the author's wholesome life style may not appeal to readers dedicated to Disney, Barbie, burgers and other pop culture favorites, parents onAor overAthe mainstream fence will find plenty here to inspire and guide them. Farb shelters her own children from television, movies, junk food and the like, but she manages to maintain a nonjudgmental approach toward parents. (July)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From the Inside Flap
As Parents, there IS a lot to know, and today with more choices then ever before parents DO have a lot to think about. We are inundated with information, yet when we stop to reflect upon it, much of what we are being told just doesn't feel right in our hearts. Sometimes it seems that the information most widely available just encourages us to buy something, or worse...makes us feel vulnerable or incapable of acting in our family's best interest. We are overwhelmed with the responsibility of making choices for this new and vulnerable person entrusted to our care. We want to give our baby the best possible start in life. We want to protect him or her from danger. We want to teach our children to think-for-themselves and not be seduced by the less wholesome parts of our culture. We are loath to make mistakes even though we understand that we most certainly will. The popular books, magazines, talk shows, longtime friends, relatives, and pediatricians all seem to reinforce the status quo....so where can you turn to tap into an alternative perspective? How can you really have a choice about how to raise your children when most of what you are surrounded with encourages you to care for your children in one particular way -- a way that is actually very new to our species and inconsistent with our fundamental biological needs?
Compassionate Souls -- Raising the Next Generation to Change the World is a place to start. This book can help you figure out your own unique parenting path. And unique it MUST be. No other person comes to parenting with exactly your personality, your life history, your family issues, your particular desires and dreams all taking place in the context of this never-before-experienced culture. You don't need to agree with this approach to benefit from reading Compassionate Souls. You simply need to think about the issues in the context of your own situation, and explore some of the additional sources of information to come up with what makes the most sense to you.
You can benefit from JoAnn Farb's passion for research, her experience as a microbiologist working for a multinational pharmaceutical company and her own personal struggle as a mother to raise healthy, thinking children who she hope's will inspire others to live compassionate lives and usher in a better world.
Compassionate Souls distills a vast amount of information on a wide variety of topics related to health and parenting and organizes it all in a very readable way while weaving in personal stories that illustrate the ideas and facilitate retention.
Compassionate Souls -- Raising the Next Generation to Change the World. Let's give all our children the birthright of evolved homo-sapiens -- Vibrant health and membership in a loving and compassionate community.