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Ghosts from the Nursery: Tracing the Roots of Violence Paperback – January 7, 2014
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"A deeply disturbing wake-up call." Publishers Weekly
"Karr-Morse and Wiley boldly raise some tough issues. . . . [They] start with a grim questionwhy are children violent?and they forge a passionate and cogent argument for focusing our collective energies on infancy and parenthood to stop the cycle of ruined lives." The Seattle Times
"An expert, disturbing and vitally important book . . . . If the problem of violence in America concerns you, read this book. You will be given no quick fixes. You are given truth. And it’s truth all of us need to know." Statesman Journal
"An alarming book with national scope. . . . [Its] methodical approach tying childhood development to recent research about the brain pushes us one step further down the road to dealing two intersecting and important issues: how to protect society from its growing pocket of violent citizens and how to protect children from the abuse and neglect that lead to membership in that terrible club." The Portland Oregonian
"This book will make you realize as never before the importance of the 0-3-year period in every child’s life. Ghosts from the Nursery shows the heavy price society pays for child abuse and neglect. This book skillfully takes a very real and frightening issue and encourages us to work harder to end it." Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, United States Senate
"Right! Right! Right! This easy-to-read book is right on track for helping guide policy makers and parents about America’s most precious resource . . . her children. I highly recommend it." Dr. Ken Magid, author of High Risk: Children Without a Conscience
"The first three years of life are crucial not only to children but also to the whole society in which they live and grow and eventually reproduce. It is in the context of the self-interest even of those who care least for small children that this book appeals for child-friendly practices and policiesand should be widely heard." Penelope Leach, Ph.D., author of Children First
"Essential reading for anyone interested in the roots of violence and in finding ways of reducing violence in our society." Geraldine Dawson, Professor of Psychology, University of Washington, and editor of Human Behavior and the Developing Brain
"Robin Karr-Morse and Meredith Wiley are to be applauded for so successfully tracing the roots of violence to the complex early relations between brain and behavioral development. The story they tell is one that should be heard, and the warning bells they sound should be our wake-up call to do better by our children." Charles A. Nelson, Professor of Child Psychology, Pediatrics, and Neuroscience, University of Minnesota
"In this remarkable and timely book, Robin Karr-Morse and Meredith Wiley interweave the compelling narrative of a child who has committed a violent crime with a comprehensive description of current relevant studies on attachment disturbances and brain development (many of which are being presented to the informed public for the first time) in order to convincingly argue that the roots of violence are cultivated in infancy. . . . The essential question is how we as a society can transform this pragmatic knowledge into very early prevention programs." Allan N. Schore, Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, University of California at Los Angeles School of Medicine
"Ghosts from the Nursery is an impressive book. As I read it I found myself wishing that I had had all the information and wisdom in this book back when I started working with children. The authors have done a wonderful job of digesting and presenting various complex areas and issues in a clear, entertaining fashion. It is a rare combination of skill, insight and intelligence that produced this book." Bruce D. Perry, MD, Ph.D.
"[Karr-Morse and Wiley] clearly and powerfully elucidate why children are capable of the most heinous crimes possible and why violence has reached epidemic proportions. The future is bleak for all of us if we do not heed the warnings of children in need of nurturing, guidance and concerned parenting. This is a clear, well-researched book that deserves wide reading." Matilda Raffa Cuomo
"Violence is one of the most compelling problems of our time, not only in our nation , but around the world. Ghosts from the Nursery is a major contribution to a new understanding of this issue. The premises set forth are backed with hard data from many relevant sources and it is written in an elegant and interesting literary style. I highly recommend it." Dr. Stella Chess, MD
"Ghosts from the Nursery is a must read book for those who seek to repair shattered livesand those who seek to prevent the shattering. An important book for people who try to make the world a more civilized place." Craig Ramey, Director, Civitan International Research Center
Top Customer Reviews
A fascinating book that is well-researched. I was able to understand the importance that the first two years of life have for a child, and how a baby deprived of love and the essentials for emotional and physical growth can be affected for the rest of their life by this time.
If you're a parent and you're interested by this book, also check out "Our Babies, Ourselves".
If you're looking for a book on how your child, raised in a happy and functional home, can avoid violence, this is probably not it. But if you read in the papers about children who carry guns to school and wonder why it happens, you're barking up the right alley. :)
The authors of Ghosts from the Nursery provide compelling evidence that violent behavior is learned in not only the first two years of life, but is derived from abusive and neglectful environments the first few months of early development. In fact, the authors share significant evidence revealing a predisposition to violent behavior that can be a direct result to exposure of toxins such as drugs and alcohol, combined with a mother's stress hormones generated from rage or fear, can directly affect brain development of the fetus. What makes this important? The core of an individuals ability to think, feel and relate to others is formed during the first years of life. Exposure to an environment overwhelmed with extreme abuse and neglect can seriously hamper this important development.
I feel the following passage from this book provides a profound affirmation which requires us not only to look at societal implications of violence in the family, but how it reaches families across cultural and classical boundaries:
"Impoverishment in the families producing violent children often exists at a deeper than material level. When looking closely at the families of violent children across classes and racial differences, we find an impoverishment of human connectedness, trust, support and emotional nurturing.Read more ›
This book examines how recent studies using PET and MRI scans and other methods allow us to better understand the human brain. Most of the crucial brain development occurs before a child reaches three years old. During those years, the human brain is programmed to adapt to its environment. Frontal lobe activity can be stimulated by parental involvement. A lack of this activity can lead to lifelong depressed behavior. What a baby is exposed to, or not exposed to, determines how the brain forms and how the brain is apt to operate for the rest of life.
A child who does not find empathy by the age of three is likely to have difficulty showing empathy towards others. A person without consideration for others has a much greater tendency to drift towards anti-social behavior such as violent crime. A baby growing up in a withdrawn or hostile environment may begin life at a signficant disadvantage.
The policy debate this creates is enormous. "Liberals" may call for taking steps to see that babies' brains are properly stimulated during the critical formulative years. Outreach programs to pregnant women and families with babies should provide information on good parenting techniques. There should be high quality child care with programs that stimulate babies' brain developments.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An important book for alerting people to the development of the brain in the womb.Published 1 month ago by Jane de M.
If you foster or have adopted a child this is a must read. It talks about how the brain develops and how trauma, even to a fetus changes the brain hormone and connections. Read morePublished 4 months ago by peggy Q
I use this book as a textbook for a class that I teach. Everyone needs to read this book.Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
Wonderful book recommend it to all especially to the legal profession and all who are thinking of parenthoodPublished 7 months ago by hungry mom
Great book ! I read a lot of true crime and psychology but learned a lot from this book that I didn't know.Published 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
Every elected official should be required to read this book. We must have changes in this country to protect our future!Published 7 months ago by Amazon Customer