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Touching: The Human Significance of the Skin Paperback – September 10, 1986


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; 3 edition (September 10, 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060960280
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060960285
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #148,588 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Excellent and well-documented." -- Psychology Today

The mother and father of all books written on touch. -- Dr. Jules Older

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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I continue to read many books, but this is probably one of my favorites.
J. Chippie
Montagu's book is one of those that will change your life and that you will want (and need) to reread periodically.
M. R. Traska
I found this book to be completely engaging and so well-written and insightful that I could hardly put it down.
Tobucus

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

56 of 57 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 23, 1999
Format: Paperback
If you only get one book on parenting and how to raise a child get this one. This is a thick book with lots of research to support the ideas presented by Dr. Montague. However scholastic this book might be it is very readable. If you find the title misleading some chapter headings are breastfeeding, tender loving care, the physiological effects of touching, skin and sex and growth and development. The skin and sex chapter discusses how touching our children affects their sexuality. This is one amazing book full of data that instructs us to hold our children close as long as possible and why this is so critical to their development in every aspect. Read it!!!
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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 2, 1999
Format: Paperback
Ashley Montague is really on target about the needs of the human body in regard to touch.Infants who bond with their parents the first few years of life are so much more secure. He has written such valuable information which is more relevant today than ever. We could have less violent children and adults if proper touch and bonding occurred as infants. Read this book and practice it as a means of creating peace in the world. Spread the word to hospitals to teach new parents about the importance of touch for their infants. Read and recommend this book to all of your friends.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 13, 1999
Format: Paperback
This highly readable work does a wonderful job explaining the significance of touch in the physical and emotional life of humans. A better understanding of touch can alter the way we interact and is especially important to health care workers.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Reader 17 on December 5, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book can be credited with saving our premature child. Our daughter was in ICU. I went to check on her. Unknown to me, in the hallway, I passed my wife's Dr. who was about to tell my wife the child was dying.

Entering ICU, I sat at her table and remembered reading in Dr Montague's book that touching had a positive effect on newborns. I began stroking her back and talking to her about her sisters and a puppy that was waiting for her at home. The nurse came to me and asked what I was doing. Thinking she thought I was doing something wrong, I stopped. She said to continue whatever it was because the respirator showed our daughter's breathing was improving. I sat with her and continued for an hour or so.

The next morning I went to see my wife and ask that she return with me. It wasn't until then that I heard the Dr. 's prognosis. I was credited with saving my daughter by the nurses. I bought a copy of the book for the hospital library and recommend it to all who are expecting.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By J. Chippie on September 27, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book is positvely a must read for anyone interested in Human Behavioral Sciences and Psychology in general. I am only 20 years old but have been interested in the science behind human interaction for many years. I continue to read many books, but this is probably one of my favorites. The book is a great read, and covers in depth more about the actual physical interaction from birth till death than any other books I've read...I strongly suggest it.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Tobucus on October 9, 2010
Format: Paperback
I read this book years ago and am re-reading it now. I have recommended it numerous times over to friends and fellow students as well. My one complaint to Montague's publisher/editor is that I wish that they would have produced a more general "touching" image for the cover versus this one which seems to be of a more 'romantic' nature at least that was my first thought and it was that of many others to whom I had also recommended the book - it may just be the image with the words "Touching" overlaying. It might seem minor but I think that the cover sadly may turn many off (due to mistakenly assuming the content being something other than what it is or that the author has not written a thoroughly and completely well-researched scientific book based on multiple forms of research, evidence, case studies, etc.) from even picking up this ground-breaking work in human development and psychology about the basic need for physical contact of each person and the effects when it is not provided. Each person that passes this book by is a sad loss and one in which we will all ultimately pay.

I found this book to be completely engaging and so well-written and insightful that I could hardly put it down. It is filled with scientific documentation (albeit on the older side and granted science is nearly outdated before it published these days) but one could easily find further information or 'dig deeper' into any subject area that is brought up should you like. Montague also does not tend reference obscure researchers or professionals in their respective fields - though the reader may not have heard of them, with a little research you will almost always find that they are the leaders in what they do - he pulled together the 'best of the best' in creating this work.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Anora McGaha on March 16, 2008
Format: Paperback
It was 1976 when I first discovered this book. I read it through cover to cover nodding my head as he affirmed what I had sensed in my young life: touch is essential to healthy human development.

Though the cover and title look corny now, thirty years later, the content for anyone interested in the human response to touch, is historic.

It is telling and tragic that our scientists had to use research on baby monkeys to document the primate suffering and distorted growth with lack of touch. We as a culture have tried to leave our mammalian and primate origins behind us, but as long as we live in our bodies, we will share the vital need for touch to fully develop and feel whole as human beings.

If you're already familiar with general information on the human response to touch and you're interested it taking it to the edge of what we know at the beginning of this 21st century, take a look at Job's Body: A Handbook for Bodywork (Third Edition). Job's Body takes the understanding of touch to a cellular level!

I would highly recommend it as a background reader for anyone considering becoming a massage therapist, and definitely anyone interested in human development and psychology.
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