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on November 19, 2012
Great book. Quick read, insightful and with good arguments. I keep re-reading the chapter at the end about kids education. I gave the book to the English tutor of my son and she liked it. Actually I have read over 15 books on kids education and this is the best one so far for me, even if it covers a much broader topic about intelligence in general!
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on January 28, 2015
Outstanding book, it presents exhaustive research on the nature of intelligence while making it readable. It is a hopeful book in asserting that intelligence can be cultivated while dispelling the myth with hard research that intelligence remains fixed and genetically based. I enjoyed the author's exploration on the value of intelligence among Jewish and Asian people whose culture values reading, hard work and over achievement. T
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on February 4, 2014
It's a really good book that has science-based advice about how to become more intelligent; an excellent discussion about what it means to be intelligent.

The author is one of the best researchers out there! I highly recommend his other books. His research-articles are fantastic also, though are meant for an academic audience.
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on January 31, 2015
Here's an academic who writing flows like quicksilver and leaves the reader with an an understandable perspective on intelligence. The best part consists of his common sense solutions on how to bring kids into the 21st century.
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on September 7, 2014
Every parent should read this book - it's not just about getting more IQ points, but it gives important ideas on how to improve your child's thinking as well as your own. It is easy to understand,
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on August 21, 2012
The answer is YES, according to Richard E. Nesbitt, who presents a stack of compelling research and logic to arrive at this conclusion, which, of course, flies in the face of traditional hereditary beliefs. His theory is that all humans start life with about identical IQs. Then the family, the neighborhood, the culture, and the school, can each either provide encouragement to increase IQ or apathy to lower IQ.

I especially appreciated his clear research findings, bracketed below:

["A lower-class child who grows up in an upper-middle-class family has an IQ 12 to 18 points higher on average than the lower-class child who grows up in a lower-class family."] The components of class differences that affect IQ: "genes, prenatal, perinatal, and postnatal biological factors; and all social factors associated with class, including quality of neighborhoods and schools and parenting practices." Nesbitt states that genetics must be a minor contribution to the IQ gap since 12-18 points is the purely environmental contribution.

[The achievement gap between the lowest 25 percent and highest 25 percent of Americans is similar to that in developing countries, not developed countries.] What is the solution? He feels that it is much more than the federal government regulation of schools. And that stimulation and support for individual achievement must come from families and neighborhoods.

[Although Asian Americans account for only 2 percent of our population, they constitute 20 percent of students at Harvard and 45 percent at Berkeley.] Success in East Asia is a family affair, not mainly a matter of individual pride and status. A child achieves to strengthen the family--both economically and socially.

[Ashkenazi Jews, who represent 2 percent of the American population, received between 27 (all Jewish) and 40 (all Jewish plus one-half Jewish) percent of all Nobel Prizes in science awarded to Americans. Jews comprise 33 percent of Ivy League students.] There are certain cultural factors often invoked to explain this. Also, exceptionally strong family ties place unrelenting demands on children. "Jews value intelligence, the intellectual life, and achievement."

My experiences while living in foreign countries confirm this connection between family cohesion and successful students. I found that in English schools with enrollments mixed between English speaking students and English, as a second language, students, the latter nearly always surpassed the former in academic performance. These students from the Middle East, East Asia, and India all had something in common. Each evening after dinner, gathering at the dining room table, the mother, father, and children reviewed homework and prepared for upcoming tests with each student.

Nesbitt's investigation reveals that we Americans must somehow raise our lower socioeconomic families to higher levels in order to provide a supportive environment for students. Unfortunately, the obvious first steps are the federal takeover of our schools and required national testing. This would eliminate the yawning gap of school and teacher qualities between rich and poor. Today, there is another gap--industry requires certain skilled types that our schools are not providing. This leads to youth hopelessness and their turning to crime. If we raise education levels of lower socioeconomic schools, their higher competitive standards will better prepare graduates for employment and cut our prison population.
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on September 20, 2013
This book is quite interesting as an academic book, but personally I'm about books that are changing ourselves instead of analysing what's right/wrong in what's going on with other people, especially if it's meant to be "how to get intelligence." Nisbett writes in a pretty open way which I really like, but at the end of the day these kinds of books don't move me. For the purposes it was written for though, I think it's pretty great and quite interesting.
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on March 12, 2013
This was a Christmas book for our son and he requested it specifically. He was pleased with it and put it in his library.
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on May 8, 2009
It started out great, but lost some steam. I should have done some more research before I purchased. I read a review in the Tribune that had me think I MUST read this book. But after I started, I realized there were some premises that I just couldn't stay with, and so much I had read before.
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on July 16, 2015
This book foils racial stereotypes about academic achievement and ethnicity. Wise educators will endeavor to master its lucid remarks and solid data in order to avoid the stupidity of our epoch.
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