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Someone Else's Twin: The True Story of Babies Switched at Birth Hardcover – August 23, 2011
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"On its face Someone Else's Twin is a gifted researcher's exploration of the moral and legal crises that resulted when a hospital failed at a routine task and switched twins at birth, denying them each other. But the book is also a profound and heartbreaking mystery story that confronts the issue of personal identity and provides answers to questions that have stumped us all: Who am I? Where did I come from? Where am I going?" --John Ed Bradley, author of Tupelo Nights and Restoration
"With the frequency of twinning almost doubling in the last thirty years, Segal's thorough yet affecting work serves as a modern window into nature versus nurture and the wrenching consequences of inadvertently twisted family ties. In some cases, the black sheep of a family is not a black sheep at all, just a misplaced one." --Preston Williams, Washington Post staff writer
"As an identical twin, Someone Else's Twin is a very personal story for me. I was struck by how Nancy Segal so poignantly portrayed the plight of twins switched at birth. It's beyond belief to me that the closeness I've come to share with my twin sister might never have been possible had this kind of switch happened to us. Truly a nightmare. Segal's attention to detail and professional and personal insight make this a fascinating read." --Nancy Stern Winters, Lookalike Productions
"Nancy Segal introduces the reader to a thought-provoking examination of who we are as individuals, demonstrating how easily that can all change through the carelessness of another. As a parent of monozygotic twins, and as a volunteer dedicated to improving the lives of multiple-birth individuals and their families, it is heartbreaking and overwhelmingly sad to see the long-term impact a mistake at birth can have on the lives and relationships of everyone involved." --Kimberley Weatherall, Chair, International Council of Multiple Birth Organizations (ICOMBO); acting executive director, Multiple Births Canada (MBC)
"Noted twin-study expert Segal... doubles the fascination with switched-at-birth twin research... Segal's study of switched-at-birth twins reveals much insight into the nature-vs.-nurture paradigm... An expert glimpse into the many-faceted world of genetics, family culture and identity." --Kirkus Reviews
'Segal writes clearly and passionately, and yet she rarely strays from the precise language of a social scientist. The result is an engaging narrative intertwined with a careful attempt to draw sound conclusions from the facts... The book has much to tell us about the ways in which genes, environments and their interactions shape who we are.' --Wall Street Journal (WSJ.com, Bookshelf) Sept 14, 2011
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Top Customer Reviews
Nancy Segal is a truly gifted investigative reporter - her research skills and knowledge add a tremendous sensibility to her lively writing style.
It is very evident that this book is a labor of love; it defines Segal's focused dedication to understanding the underpinnings of twinship.
Twenty-eight year old female identical twins inadvertently discover that they were switched at birth. The book chronicles how the lives of the twins and their families were impacted by this discovery. Segal discusses in vivid detail the psychological, legal, and sociological ramifications of such an event. Her tale is moving, and Segal does an excellent job describing how such a discovery can have both positive and negative outcomes. She presents the material in an evenhanded manner, bravely examining the joy as well as the sadness and emotional trauma involved in such a discovery in adulthood.
If you're not an academic, skip this book. If you are, I can't give you advice.
Identical twins share 100% of their genes; however, errors in cell divisions make them not totally identical, though as close as possible to human clones. Fraternal twins share half their genes, on average, the equivalent of 'normal' siblings. The Western nation twinning rate is about one in thirty, up from one in sixty in 1980. The increase is mostly due to the advent of artificial insemination. Studies show that the resemblance between identical twins raised apart (MTA) vs. those raised together (MTT) is quite similar and that twins treated alike are not more behaviorally alike than those treated differently. Segal reports the correlation in IQs for MTA twins is .73, vs. .86 for MTT twins, meaning environmental differences account for just 21% of the IQ variation in MTA pairs. (This is consistent with most other research and a major contradiction to those contending that improving environment/education would substantially improve society's children, while consistent with the failure of No Child Left Behind and countless other remedial education programs.)
The bulk of 'Someone Else's Twin' is taken up with anecdotal accounts of various accidental twin separations and reunifications, including that of Begona and Delia, as well as the subsequent legal cases.
Originally published for San Francisco/Sacramento Book Reviews.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I chose one star because zero stars was not an option. While the subject has internet this was so poorly written that one wonders why it was published and if there were any editors... Read morePublished on November 23, 2013 by Nancy R. Griffith
What a terrific story about two identical twin sisters who were switched at birth and met only by chance at the age of 28. Dr. Segal sets a pace that got me invested in the story. Read morePublished on November 17, 2013 by Reading Maven
This book is one of the worst I have ever read,you dont learn anything interesting about twins switched at birth ... save your money!!!
I am so disappointed in this book. I thought it was a story from the real life experiences of this tragic event. Read morePublished on January 2, 2012 by Maryd
This is a fascinating story, but it would have been better if it were written an article (as in a Sunday newspaper magazine). Read morePublished on December 12, 2011 by T. Doyle
This book is the outcome of years of hard work. Nancy Segal is one of those researchers who can write about complex psychological matters in a way everybody can understand. Read morePublished on October 7, 2011 by Laura Pergola