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The Power of Place: How Our Surroundings Shape Our Thoughts, Emotions, and Actions Paperback – January 30, 2007
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Top Customer Reviews
The biggest drawback of this book may also be it's most interesting aspect - the sheer quantity of the material Gallagher must condensed into 228 pages of text. Thus, in less than 100 pages, she discusses seasonal affective disorder, light deprivation, effects of temperature and altitude and geomagnetic phenomena. With
this constraint, Gallagher's prose in necessarily tight, her interviews brief, and each chapter ends before you've had your fill of the effect she's discussing.
A good book for plane-hopping business sorts - not only can it be read on the flight, the effects of time zone changes, sleep deprivation, and fluorescent lights can be recorded as they are taking place.
From Alaska's difficult emotional/spiritual/physical climate, to the science beyond radiomagnetic energy, to thoughts on the womb, the environments of birth, development, why we love nature, the threat of city life to personal psyche, she covers a great deal of topic ground. Each section, let alone each chapters could have been a book unto itself which makes the reading somewhat cursory. On the whole, the book never falls into a slum, the reading is continually informative and well-written. Gallagher's journalism is intriguing. The best part of this book is that it not only gives you food for thought but makes you want to go out and investigate more, to read more on the subjects she has touched upon. (That's the sign of a solid, good book.)
I feel a book is more than just what is contained between its covers. Books about social studies like this make me take notice of the world around me in ways I may not have seen before. An increase in awareness is what I discovered while reading The Power of Place. I'm going to think more about Feng Shui in my life and moreover, what I need to do change some aspects of my life - I do need to get out into nature more.
Books like Gallagher's are rewarding in that they are pleasant to read, informative, well-researched and entertaining. This is a light read but it will keep you sharp. Truly, this is the book you read at the beach.
Mood sickness may be traced back to normal expectations of the environment. Indoor life-styles result in light deprivation. Winter depression has been re-identified.
Cold is a stimulant and heat is a sedative. Moderatedly high altitudes-- mountains--seem peaceful. Some of the mountain magic is aesthetic. A sense-presence experience, (sensing that something or someone is present), is a normal response to a bizarre situation. More and more people are spending time in extreme environments.
Inner city children may suffer from chronic sense overload impeding their physical and academic progress. Urbanization is the most important environmental influence of the future. Most of America's poverty is urban. Pruitt-Igoe thwarted tenants' needs and opportunities for social networking and had to be blown-up.
Nature-loving varies with ethnicity and class. Nevertheless, even the Swiss weren't amazed by the Alps until the nineteenth century when nature's existence could be contrasted with industrialization.
This is a delightful book, causing much thought about issues we hardly ever notice and think about.
Gallagher divides her book into 3 sections: Outside In, Inside Out, and Synchrony. The first section is dedicated to the outdoors, followed by people's cognitive reactions to a variety of environments. The most important aspects of these environments and the primary focus of Gallagher's research is the effect of light. Though light is a very interesting influence and has been shown to both induce and treat various conditions such as depression and seasonal effective disorder, Gallagher's reemphasis of its importance becomes quite repetitive. Also, other than mentioning the effect of light on various historical icons, she only briefly elaborates on the lasting effects of changes in light exposure on circadian rhythms. In the "Inside Out" section of her book, Gallagher focuses on the importance of the environment within the womb during fetal development. In describing fetal development, Gallagher maintains that changes in development occur first with changes in emotional responses. Especially in the case of babies born prematurely, the transition from life within the womb to life in nature before they are developmentally prepared to do so causes various points of emotional distress. From this focus on emotional distress, Gallagher goes on in "Synchrony" to explain the effect this distress has on behavior.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very interesting about environmental psychology of space and its effects.Published 12 months ago by SMartin
every book that I have ordered as proven to be the best purchasePublished 16 months ago by Debbie Bates
Not a quick read (would give 3 stars because of this--how unfair) but full of information. I've often wondered about geography/environment related to behavior/culture/personality,... Read morePublished 19 months ago by The Empress
We now live in the North Carolina mountains May through June, escaping the horrid heat of Florida's summer heat. Florida's winters are worth returning to. Read morePublished on August 21, 2013 by Amazon Customer
Winifred Gallagher has been called to explain "us" to our contemplative selves. This is not her best piece of work, but I say that because I disagree with some of her... Read morePublished on January 11, 2013 by Mayo Quin
I was expecting a totally different take on the Power of Place. I have not finished reading it.. I promise I will though.. Can NOT leave a book unfinishedPublished on January 5, 2012 by Katie O'Brian-Robles
Extremely informative. I thought that the book was written a while back so with the moving, cutting edge science field maybe some of the information may not be up-to-date. Read morePublished on April 5, 2011 by Mohammed Syed
This book was inconclusive and somewhat confusing. If someone is really looking for information to help make a choice concerning home or vacation locations, I don't think this is... Read morePublished on February 23, 2010 by Kristen Jackson