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The Sibling Effect: What the Bonds Among Brothers and Sisters Reveal About Us Hardcover – September 15, 2011


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Riverhead Hardcover (September 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594488312
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594488313
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.1 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #513,527 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"This book had a profound impact on me that I never could have anticipated. . . . It's a compelling and beautifully written story, interwoven with fascinating, cutting-edge research. What I didn't expect was what I'd learn about myself. In our culture we spend so much time examining the ways our parents influence us that we miss a force that's at least as significant. While immersed in The Sibling Effect, I went back in time, reexamined my own life, this time looking through a new lens. It was a revelation."
-David Sheff, author of Beautiful Boy: A Father's Journey Through  His Son's Addiction

"Jeffrey Kluger integrates the latest research and brings his own fresh thinking to an ancient topic: sibling relationships. He weaves his own sibling experiences into his rich, insightful text. As with all good storytellers, Kluger's stories are sad/happy and heartbreaking/glorious. The Sibling Effect is for anyone who has ever wondered, 'Why can't I get along with my siblings?' or 'Why are we so different?' or 'How did my relationships with my siblings shape my personality?' I suspect that is most of us."
-Mary Pipher, author of Reviving Ophelia

About the Author

Jeffrey Kluger is a senior editor and writer at Time magazine. He is the coauthor of the bestseller Apollo 13 and the author of Simplexity, Splendid Solution,  Moon Hunters, and two novels for young adults. He lives in New York City with his wife and daughters.


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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Robert F. Leroux on November 26, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I looked forward to insights based on the few bon mots heard on a CBC interview. Once into the book I was terribly disappointed at the generalizations that may have/could have been deduced from pop psych books. This is not a scholarly work. For the uninformed looking for sound bites it can serve one in good stead at a cocktail party. Not worth purchasing. Better to request it from the library and judge first if it is worth anything as a reference book.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Daisy Doolittle on December 5, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I'm in the middle of The Sibling Effect, but I decided to write a review now because I've come upon a fact about Wendy Wasserstein, the late playwright, that I know is not the case. Before I reveal this fake fact, I will say Kluger's an intelligent, informative, fluid, and fun writer. The book reads as a winning combination of personal anecdote, expert testimony, and incisive analysis; however, in a chapter on the significance of birth order, Kluger states Wasserstein was the middle of three children. In truth, she was the youngest of five (or four: her oldest sibling, Abner, was sent to live elsewhere early on and Wendy was unaware of his existence until she was grown). While this isn't an important mistake, it's too easy a fact not to double check, especially since her many obituaries make note of it. So now I must wonder how many other facts here are incorrect. Still, I find the book hard to put down.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By ParisBreakfast on February 2, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A broad perspective on families and birth order backed up with scientific data and personal, hilarious anecdotes.
My copy is yellow-marked and underlined to the hilt and I'm only half-way through it. I'm pleased to learn many family gripes are the norm across the board and classic.
The Sibling Effect helps you comprehend your relationships with others as well as with siblings - invaluable reading.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Nerak Nomolos on January 15, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
After hearing the author interviewed on Public Radio I reserved his book from my local library. Reading it reminded me of my early years growing up with four siblings. So much of what Jeffrey Kluger recounted about his relationships rang true for me. The writing is engaging and easy to understand. I didn't want to put it down until I finished. This is not often true of non-fiction. I was compelled to send it to my brothers and my sister. Anyone with multiple siblings will recognize something of their own experience in this book.
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17 of 23 people found the following review helpful By TheoGnostus VINE VOICE on September 28, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Birth order, defined as a person's rank by age among his or her siblings, is generally believed to have a significant and enduring effect on human psychological progress and maturing. This assertion has been challenged by psychology researchers, yet birth order continues to have a popular appeal, clearly displayed in pop psychology. Pop psychology does not mean unreliable, but commonly accepted views without applying qualified analytical tools. Since Adler, the eminent developer of 'Individual Psychology', the influence of birth order on the development of personality has become both a popular and a controversial issue.

Kluger uses his convincing talent to provide a very engaging book, charged with emotional stories, entrenched in the writer's own experience, which cannot become a generalization by psychologists. In their book "Sibling Relationships: Their Nature and Significance across the Lifespan," Michael Lamb and Brian Sutton-Smith, strongly support Kluger, articulating that sibling bonds often last an entire lifetime. Frank Sulloway, advocates also that birth order has strong and lasting influence on the major personality traits, however, critical psychologists argue against his theories. He argues that firstborns are more conscientious, more socially dominant, less agreeable, and more traditional to laterborns.

Born to Rebel: Birth Order, Family Dynamics, and Creative Lives
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Deborah DePreta on April 2, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was expecting a more in-depth exploration than what the author presented. He used his own siblings to illustrate many points which were sometimes tedious. Overall, the book was very light and quick reading.
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11 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Avocat on November 16, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book has sent chills down my spine... As a singleton, I always cried when my friends would have to leave my house to go home....... As an adult, I have a huge pool of friends of all cultures, ages, educational background, and political affinities; I also like to reach out and find old classmates and neighbor kids I used to play with... and then, I keep up with them... After reading this book, I finally understood the root of my need to build this network of friends... I also understood and am easier on my two children's daily conflicts... in fact, I now love to see my kids squabble over small things and watch them resolve their conflicts...or instruct them not to come to me to help them with resolving their conflicts but to rather work on a resolution themselves. After reading this book, I also understand a bit better why my husband's brother won't build that bridge to rebuild their sibling relationship... I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS BOOK! BUY IT! READ IT! RECOMMEND IT AGAIN! It's a great book and a beautiful read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Anthony J. Quinn on January 9, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Although Mr. Kluger referenced many studies, the book as a whole was more anecdotal than I expected. I was hoping for a factual study, but it was much more personal to Mr. Kluger and his family, and assorted random strangers who meant nothing to me. He seemed to use the studies that he referred to more to support his anecdotal evidence than vice versa.
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