In a book that will fascinate skeptics and supporters alike, award-winning journalist Tom Shroder reveals one of the astonishing, untold stories of our time. It is the story of thousands of young children who speak of remembering previous lives. They provide detailed, accurate, and emotionally laden information about people who died before they were born, people they claim they once were. Dr. Ian Stevenson, the distinguished scholar who holds an endowed professorship at the University of Virginia, has been traveling the world for thirty-seven years to investigate and document more than two thousand of these phenomenal cases. Despite voluminous and meticulously detailed scholarly reports, and the respect of an enthusiastic group of colleagues, Professor Stevenson's life's work has until now remained essentially unknown to the world at large.
It took years for Tom Shroder to persuade Dr. Stevenson, now eighty, to allow him to observe his field research -- first in Lebanon, then India, and finally the American South -- the first journalist ever to have that privilege.
"Old Souls" is a riveting firsthand account of this compelling scientific evidence of past lives -- not from the hypnotized confessions of adults in psychiatric treatment, but straight from the mouths of babes, small children who spontaneously speak of previous lives, beg to be taken "home," pine for mothers and husbands and mistresses from another life, and know things there seems to be no normal way for them to know. Shroder, who began his journey as a hardened skeptic, quickly comes face to face with concrete evidence that, try as he might, he cannot discount.
From the moment these children can talk, theyspeak of people and events from previous lives -- not vague lives of centuries ago, but lives of specific, identifiable individuals who may have died just months, weeks, or hours before the birth of the child in question. These individuals are often completely unknown to the child's family, and live in a different town or a different part of the country. Yet, when these families are brought together, total strangers united by a child's claim of reincarnation, the emotional force of mutual recognition and the factual verification of the child's past-life memories can be utterly astounding.
In a combination of real-life adventure story and scientific mystery, Shroder plunges ever deeper into a world in which small children have vivid memories and strong feelings that compel them to seek out strange families they insist are their own. From Lebanon to India to suburban Virginia, shroder follows Stevenson into the lives of children and families touched by this phenomenon and struggling to grasp its meaning. The result is a spellbinding true story.